FOI Online Liturgy
Sybil, Oracles of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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The candidate enters the old dungeon of the castle. He sees only dimly because of a hood concealing his face. The Priestess and Priest Hierophant close the double doors behind him. He finds himself faced with a seated woman with face and body veiled in black. Behind her is a loophole and two candles emit a flickering light. "I saw the form of the Goddess rising behind the Priestess, and there was White Light. I heard words spoken to me and I understood their meaning. They filled me with both awe and hope. I felt a wave of ecstasy fill me like a shining waterfall ... it was time for me to leave. I felt dazed. The doors opened behind me and I was guided from the Chapel of the Mothers by the Priest Hierophant. Then the doors were again closed. The hood was drawn away from my face and now I could see a line of pillars in the Temple of Isis, golden with many candles. I was guided step by step to a holy well, through chapels and I paused at shrines. Finally I passed through two pillars, and faced the statue of Isis on the High Altar. Here the Priestess and the Priest Hierophant consecrated me as Magus of the College of Isis. They knew that I had experienced the Divine Presence of the Goddess. I was still in a half-trance of love and bliss. Some of this will remain with me always".
This report is one of many given by candidates who have undergone Mysteries of The Fellowship of Isis. Some see the Goddess, invoked through Priestesses of Allat, Persephone or Nuit as a beautiful woman with a lovely smile. Others know Her as a towering figure enlightening the entranced Priestess. Coloured lights may be seen and the tingling Melusina serpent-fire experienced. The effects continue in every-day life through expansion of awareness, creativity and psychic gifts.
The Goddess, feminine Manifestation of Deity, shows Herself according to the Divine Name invoked, involving attributes of a particular Being. She may be called upon as Hathor of Love, Athena of Wisdom, Cerridwen of Creativity. The Goddess of Ten Thousand names gives Divine Communion to each individual Initiate who can receive Her grace. In our Temple of Isis men have been spiritually resurrected as Osiris, finding their God-selves: woman have awakened into their own divine being as Isis. Thus through fleeting moments of time and space they know that they are eternal Sons and Daughters of Deity.
In past ages Goddesses and Gods showed Themselves to humanity through entranced Priestesses and Priests. The greatest of the Priestesses were the Roman Sybils. Their divinely inspired prophecies recorded in the Sybilline Books were honoured by the whole classical world, and by early Christian Patriarchs. Michelangelo painted them in their full oracular afflatus in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The Delphic Pythonesses of Greece had a harsh fate. Invading Dorians slew their presiding prophetic Pythoness at Delphi and killed their totem Python. Priests of the invaders substituted their Sun God, Phoebus Apollo, for the ancient Goddess Pytho. Their own Priestesses still retained the name of Pythonesses and gave forth oracles in rhyme of a political complexion, interpreted by the Priests. It was only before the onset of the Christian era that an enterprising Pythoness resumed her ancient authority and in an oracle declared that Apollo was dead and that his rival, the God Dionysus, Son of the Corn Mother Semele, was now the Ruler. Collating this with a similar Sybilline oracle, early Christians took this to be a prophecy of the Coming of Christ.
The Great Queen and the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt were revered as the embodiment of the Goddess Isis and Her Husband the God Osiris, their divine ancestors. The attractive quality of this was the implied equality between Deities and humans. The royal pair and their family were not submissive devotees, created like pottery images by God and Goddess. Through birth they received divine identity. This identification with Deity later applied to the nobility, and then to everybody. This was possible in a pantheistic, animist religion which taught that the cosmos was as stars in the naked indigo body of the Goddess Nuit. Every mortal creature was recognised as a projected embodiment of its own innate Divinity. So seekers could obtain understanding not only from an instructed Priesthood, but inspiration from Goddess-Cat, God-Crocodile, God-Nile. Earth and all its creatures were in resonance with Eternal Reality beyond decay and death.
In India this same sacred identification was basic in Hindu polytheism, which survived Aryan and Middle Eastern invasions. The Second God of the Hindu Trinity, Vishnu, incarnated on earth in evolving Avatars, from fish to tortoise, boar, half lion - half man, King Rama and finally the God-man Krishna. The Second Goddess of this Trimurti incarnated as a cow, hence sanctifying all cows. She was re-born as Queen Sita, Rama's wife and as the beloved of Krishna, the Milkmaid Radha. In both Egyptian and Hindu pantheons the Goddess as Mother was given precedence: hence Goddess and God were named Sita-Ram: Radha-Krishna. In such traditions oracles were easily given and received through Priests and Priestesses who accepted divine identity, and so were able to convey guidance through their own selves.
On earth we are as we believe we are. Western materialists regard themselves as "Lords of Creation" and declare that they have "conquered nature". But paradoxically they believe that humans, along with all other creatures, are subject to decay and death, hence inferior in kind to any immortal Goddess or God. As they do not know scientifically that there are any Deities, this does not disturb their complacency! There is no inferiority in being mortal if there are no Immortals. Also materialists do not blame humanity for being subject to innumerable repulsive diseases, as there is no comparison with other healthy planetary races to put them to shame. There are no outsiders, divine or otherwise, to criticise, punish or reward. Hence they do as they choose with the victimised earth, meaning well, but often achieving ecological disaster. Yet they pride themselves on not being superstitious polytheists. They are in a class-room with no apparent teachers and they are busy destroying the place by mistake! They tear up the school garden and do cruel scientific experiments on the hapless creatures living therein.
It is said: "When evil predominates over good, I come into manifestation." The "I" in this case is the Goddess. For the Deity Who manifests at the end of decadent age always represents the suffering victims. At the end of the Aries era of heroes, this was the sacrificed Agnus Dei, the Divine Aries Lamb. Now, at the dissolution of the Piscean Age, it is the young Maiden of the Source Who shows Herself in numerous apparitions, usually to simple peasants who still retain clairvoyance and clairaudience. She represents abused children, animals, plants, Nature herself. When She shows Herself robed with the sun in the sky, She represents the new cosmic aeon of Aquarius.
At the end of the Age of Aries it was recorded by Plutarch and others of the Olympian religion that the Oracles had ceased. Also a mighty voice called out that the Great God Pan was dead, "and there was great lamentation." At about this time the Prophets and Prophetesses of Israel spoke no more. This silence continued for two thousand years. Five hundred years later the leaders of Islam declared that Mohammed was the last of the Prophets. Later the Roman Catholic hierarchy closed the canon with the papal announcement that from henceforth there would be no more revelation from God.
How true all this was! Never has there been such a spiritual desert as during the last fifteen hundred to two thousand years. There have been a few exceptions, created by mystics such as Rumi, Spinoza and Blake. The Dove of Truth had escaped from a cage of dogma, leaving behind an artificial bird that chirped to order. Enforced creeds and religious laws abounded, cauterizing any fresh inspiration. Why did this happen? The development of the reasoning intellect, first fully exploited by the intellectual Greeks, was steadily atrophying human spiritual and psychic faculties. The Dark Ages were a gestation period for the intellect. It was Roger Bacon, a monk, who discovered gunpowder, a horrible portent of what was to follow. The left rational side of the brain was being over developed to the detriment of the intuitive right side and higher spiritual areas. Women as a whole escaped from this unbalanced progress, because they were not "educated". Millions of women who used their ancient priestly gifts were burnt or hanged as witches. When Revelation is no more, the wine-jars empty, people fight over the dregs. Theologians argued as to how many angels could fit on a needle's point, displaying the same mentality as later physicists, who could inform us as to the number of atoms that could exist thereon! Both theologians and scientists were climbing down a branch of the Tree of knowledge, unaware of the soaring Tree itself.
Religious dogmatists based their logical edifice of canon law on "infallible" premises drawn from sacred books. These were held to be sources of all knowledge, informing the faithful that the earth was flat, was made in seven days, or that it rested elegantly on the back of a giant tortoise. Naturally religious wars followed as to which infallible book were true! Such teachers tortured and killed any who dared criticise their precarious belief structure. The unsure are ever tyrants. They were later conquered by a new race of materialists, equally logical, with premises based more securely on established scientific facts derived from experimental verification. These were equally hedged in by the ring-pass-not of the extended five senses. The scientific practitioners were not as unbalanced and cruel as the religious dogmatists, but were and are far more dangerous. Their misused technology threatens the planet and all that dwell thereon.
Like Tweedledum and Tweedledee who were preparing for a battle, but fled before the onrush of a giant crow, so both the religious and scientific establishments were suddenly threatened by a totally unexpected spiritual revolution. A tidal wave of a new humanity suddenly appeared in the middle of the twentieth century. This break-through of cosmic consciousness was cumulative: a few enthusiasts in the fifties: hundreds in the sixties: thousands in the seventies: millions in the eighties. A dying Homo Sapiens, doomed to planetary extinction, suddenly was faced with salvation through its successor. If this new kind of human were understandable, it would have been welcomed. But it was not.
Let us imagine a Professor sitting peacefully in his study, completing his paper on post Einsteinian physics. He is interrupted by his wife who bursts in on him, declaring that his daughter has become a Witch and has been seen by her mother levitating in her bedroom! The Professor is understandably upset. Not only his daughter but his wife have become unbalanced. He joins forces with the local chapel Minister whose only son has become a Magician, claimed by his friends to be performing miracles. The two fathers defend themselves by describing their offspring as "schizophrenic; paranoid; secret drug users". They prefer these explanations to accepting the supernatural. For the curious thing is that people are terrified of the paranormal because they do not believe in it! They are afraid of finding themselves wrong and so have their belief systems shattered.
What has brought about this sudden emergence of a new kind of human being with apparently supernatural qualities? Possibly this was inevitable, triggered off by the unbalanced development of the intellect. Evolution does not stand still. When a species is threatened, a sudden leap forward may come not only from within but from outside intervention.
So the oracles return. Deprived of help from orthodox establishments, whether clerical or scientific, newly awakened men and women search for teachers. For only those who have had mystical and psychic experiences understand the turmoil and soul-shattering bewilderment that result. And they know the path through such a labyrinth. It is also inevitable that people with psi-faculties join various telepathic networks, once they have developed this way of communication. It is understandable that those who have not so awakened worry when occult societies spring up and flourish! However, usually people who have had genuine extended consciousness learn to discriminate. "I saw a halo round the Swami's head so I knew she was to be my teacher. Not forever. She says we must stand on our own feet".
I remember a delightful Californian who used to sell sock-suspenders until he saw a U.F.O. He told me that the sighting brought him ecstasy that infuriated his wife. He was a large, rubicund man and he would demonstrate how maddening he must have been. "I would sit for hours just smiling like this . . . and I'd say, ‘Myrtle, you've no idea of the bliss I'm experiencing.’ And she'd scream at me, ‘get out there, and sell sock-suspenders, you lazy slob!’ She divorced me after a few months, and I don't blame her." He told me of many people in California who had seen U.F.O.'s with a similar outcome. He never did sell any more sock-suspenders, but instead enjoyed a career as "a Reverend in Truth", and found a new wife who shared his interests.
There has been a response to this need for spiritual guidance from Shamans, Mediums, Priestesses and Priests. The method of receiving and giving spiritual communication varies. During the past two thousand years the devotee prostrated himself before the God: "To hear is to obey". He spent his life in a psychologically prostrate position. And perhaps this was good for him, after the Age of Heroes. Now the New Aeon Priestess and Priest affirm: "I love and I obey if my conscience permits this". With such an attitude our Fellowship of Isis Priesthood does not give the incoming Being total control through deep trance. I pointed this out to a member who was a Medium. He told me that the Great Goddess appeared to him and informed him that he was to receive the Lord of Light, Osiris. But when Osiris manifested through him, he as medium still retained consciousness. I explained that this was the Ancient Egyptian method. The Priest was not a channel but a Son of the God.
On rare occasions total identification with Deity can take place. "The Mother and I are One". This is when the Goddess invoked is in reality the Greater Self of the Priestess. Thus the conscious Priestess is living Avatar of the Goddess. It is essential, when the Priestess is united with the Goddess, the Priest with the God, that a safe return to ordinary human personality takes place. Otherwise you get an ego-inflated individual wandering around claiming divinity, but in actuality is neither God nor human, but a person with a problem. It is sad that Mental Homes often contain unfortunate men claiming to be Jesus Christ. One should not laugh, but understand that they may have had genuine identity with God as Christ, but have been unable to return to lesser human awareness. For one cannot focus on all spheres of being at the same time, any more than one can watch all television channels at once. On earth's plane one needs discrimination. For any Priestess or Priest receiving divine inspiration humility is vital: that humility which honours the innate divinity within all beings. There should also be respect for one's own temporary personality projected into this time and space.
The Oracles given in this book were received by myself after the appropriate ritual to which they were attached. My own method is to receive the Oracle in an enhanced state of consciousness. At about seven in the evening, in our Temple of Isis, I invoke the Goddess whose Oracle I feel guided to receive. That night I strengthen the communion in sleep state. When I wake up at dawn, I return to the Temple at about six o'clock and sit by our Temple Well. It is there that I receive the flow of Power, which feels like an onrush of silver-white Light through my head, or a golden glow in spine and heart, according to the attributes of the Goddess invoked. Truth is related for me with white power: gold with love. Three hours later, after a period of creative meditation, I perform a simple rite in my drawing-room over the Temple. I light a candle and burn incense. I put well-water on my forehead and ask to receive the Oracle. Then, with my mind as blank as I can make it, I sit at my desk and wait for inspiration, prefaced by the Power.
When the Oracle comes, it is swiftly without stop and I write as I receive it. My total consciousness is focussed on receiving the given concept, which I clothe with words. This is the trance of intense concentration and any interruption would give me acute shock. When the Oracle has been received, I give thanks at my shrine. Then I go over the written word and often re-write it many times so that I obtain as perfect a reproduction as possible of the original message. One could obtain a whole book from one spiritual conception. I am often surprised: I notice the divergence from my own way of thought. Lakshmi, worshipped by hundreds of millions of devotees in India, has a regal approach as confident as a mighty religious procession. Ama-Terasu, worshipped by Japanese Shintoists, is poetic, brilliant, subtle. Isis and Dana I have already seen and known. I always have a sense of communion with a real Being.
This reality of the Deities as actual Beings is a sticking point with many people in our century. I have heard occultists describe Deities as embodied "egrigors," Jungian archetypes, a conglomerate of human thought-forms. The weakness of this is that is anthropomorphic. Why should such occultists think that they are real, existing in a soup of high-class archetypes "up there" and Freudian thought-forms "down there", all mere products of the human mass subconscious? Deity is acknowledged only as a sort of permeating essence rather like an electricity supply. This subjectivism to be valid should apply to humans as well. Why should our evolution be the only real one?
It is not. There are less evolved and more evolved beings than ourselves inhabiting the Multi-Universe. Admittedly the portrayal of Pallas Athena sounds like an Homeric Archetype of armed Wisdom: the naked Aphrodite with her doves, a symbol for Love. But divine Beings can take upon Themselves the forms that we create from Them. The compassionate Sophia, The Holy Spirit of Divine Wisdom, shows Herself to Catholics as Maria, a pale-skinned Maiden robed in white: in China she comes with golden skin and slanting eyes, wearing red and gold, and they call Her Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy.
The Deities have Their own Bodies of varying coloured radiations, stronger and more beautiful than anything we can imagine. Yet we and all other beings partake in Their Glory because we are all born of the Cosmic Mother. We project our shadow selves into incarnation in order to learn through experience. We develop discrimination and will power through choosing the good, and rejecting evil. Some hardy souls prefer to spend self-directed life-times of suffering, and so evolve through lone effort. Others who follow the path of the Mysteries gladly ask for and receive help from Those qualified to give it. These Oracles are for those who are willing to accept guidance in their efforts to bring the Divine Plan to fruition on earth.
Whether the Oracles are read before sleep, to bring beautiful astral projections, or are used in groups for particular purpose, may they bring direct communion between the Reader and the Goddess.
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