FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Tara of the Oracles,
The Alchemical Twins Face the Fates
By: Olivia Robertson
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PORTAL VI: VIRGO
Rite 1: Venus in the Depths
"To find Venus, look where you have avoided."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIESTESS OF ALCHEMY (TO TWIN APPRENTICES, AIDEN & ELAINE): Life without the love of the Goddess of Love is sterile, feared, ignored. Yet without the fire of the Goddess of Creation there is no life. To find the love all long for yet dare not demand, the Oracle of Venus is essential.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (RAISES STAFF): Divine Goddess Venus, Bringer of ecstasy, through the love of men and women, Mother of all created creatures, secret hope within each lonely heart, give us your Oracle, that we may find lost happiness.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS VENUS
You need to face truth with courage: love with humility. It is easy to adore great Queens, shining beauties, delightful singers and dancers. Yet you may not find the love you seek where you desire! I delight to hide myself: to draw on and then vanish: to mask myself. So I am known as the Goddess of myriad illusions reflected in the moon.
Yet these very illusions are the stuff of creation. Each fragment of my Divine Body seeks to return to me by creating heavens round planetary matter. These dreams you call worlds. Yet worlds are not earths, but rather the very tissue of spiritual longing.
Those who regard themselves as most pure, have concealed what they deem impure in nightmare fantasies that haunt world dreams. Discarnate entities dwell lost in the phantoms created by themselves, suppressed in vain in pursuit of so-called purity.
Return to me! I am easily found when you put aside your elaborate list of demands! For I come unexpectedly, and have little use for spiritual arrogance. Know me as the laughter loving Venus! My Divine son is Eros with his arrows of Living Flame.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Venus for Her Oracle.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): Aiden, you have at last found love through Ishtar, not as Goddess but as woman. Are you willing to experience the Initiation of Astraea, Goddess of Justice? For without Astraea of Truthfulness, love becomes putrefied.
AIDEN: I often try to balance wisdom with feelings. I am glad to undergo the trial.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: So be it! (SHE HANDS AIDEN A CARD FROM THE MARSEILLE DECK) Describe this card.
AIDEN: The card depicts a young man in a tunic with bare legs, choosing between two women. The woman on his right side is plain and forbidding. But on his left, the girl is pretty with golden curls. The severe woman has her hand on his shoulder – the pretty one has her hand over his heart. Above them is Cupid, shooting an arrow at his heart. It is a choice between learning or love.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: You are ready to enter trance.
*** TRANCE JOURNEY ***
AIDEN: I feel this should be an enjoyable experience! I love both Minerva and Venus! So I climb up the Hill of the Zodiac with hope. I enter *** I pay respects to the central Vestal Flame – and make straight for the Portal of Virgo. It is easily found. It is in Roman style with two columns. On the left is Ceres, garnering the harvest and bestowing it on a crowd of people. On the right is the austere figure of Astraea, Winged Goddess of Justice who returns to our earth at the time of the reaping. I almost feel I have passed the test already! Still – I pass through the Portal – I expect to see fine harvest fields – possibly crop-circles. And happy lovers - and children having picnics. ***
I can’t understand it. I am in some gigantic hall and the furniture is higher than myself. And presiding over this, looming over me, are very tall, terrifying men called The White Brothers. I know somehow that they usually wear black, but when they do powerful magic, they wear white over black.
They are very kind and good, because they are saving me from a fiery pit where I and the other boys here would burn forever. Yes – I’m a very small boy! About eight. There are other boys and I wonder if I am as thin and pale and bruised as they are. I know! This scene was ages ago – I’m in a Dickens novel – probably Oliver Twist. I expect Fagin or Mr. Bumble any minute. But I am hungry. So are the others. This is pretty real.
Funny – I’m half this boy and half me. I mean where is the fiery pit? Oh, of course. It is hell. I feel like laughing. But I get beaten. And that hurts. This is a fantasy – because it’s nowadays and that cannot be true. For they have television – that is, the White Brothers. Not us. We are regularly beaten and starved. I must be in some third-world country. Africa? Yet we all look European.
What amazes me is that this boy takes for granted that one of the Brothers was really saving him by getting him to do some activity that leads to this fiery pit! And then he is flogged afterwards for doing it! So both Brother and boy are destined to finish up in the pit – burning forever. This is absurd. It’s like some horror comic. Who thinks up this sort of story? This boy is living a life of torment inflicted on him by these men, who believe that they are helping others through inflicting pain. I may be in a mental home run by the inmates!
I am beginning to have enough of this – imaginary or not. But then I find the boy has two sources of a heaven – the Ugly Nurse – and the other – the Lady with the Guitar. The Ugly Nurse is so kind to him – me; when he is beaten she bandages his sores. But he – me – really prefers the Lady with the Guitar. He had glimpsed her on a Brother’s television. So when he is really miserable, he travels to her lovely house and goes there through the television screen by imagining it. He learns to do this at night. The lady is always so nice to him and shows him how to play the guitar, and how to swim in her Star Swimming Pool.
One day it suddenly comes to an end – thank Heavens. The boy had been hit on his ear which bled. He is lying in a hospital bed, with the Ugly Nurse leaning over him. The boy in pain, at once escapes into the magic television screen. He looks back and sees the Ugly Nurse is closing a boy’s eyes, and wonders why she is crying so much. Then he-me races through the TV set – and jumps into the Star Swimming Pool. And by the marble steps stands the Star Lady waiting for him, with a plate piled with strawberry ice-cream. But I notice that for a moment she is the Ugly Nurse.
*** END OF TRANCE ***
AIDEN RECOVERS, VERY SHAKEN. HE HARDLY NOTICES THAT HE HAS ATTAINED HIS ALCHEMICAL DEGREE. REPORTS ARE SHARED AND RAYS OF WISDOM AND LOVE ARE SENT FORTH, WHICH INCLUDE WHITE BROTHERS AND ABUSED CHILDREN. A WOMAN PRACTITIONER ADDS “WHITE SISTERS” AND SAYS: “We must never get like that.”
END OF RITE.
“Hymn to Aphrodite,” “Homeric Hymns”, Hesiod, trans. Evelyn-White, Heinemann, Harvard. “On Platonic Love”, Plato, from The Timaeus. “Metamorphoses,” Ovid, trans. Davidson, J. Robinson. “The Crock of Gold” & “The Demi-Gods,” Stephens, MacMillan. “Till We Have Faces, A Myth Retold” C.S. Lewis, Harcourt Brace & Co. “Sea Priestess,” & “Moon Magic,” Dion Fortune, Aquarian Press. Marseille Tarot, 1748, B.P. Grimaud, Paris, 1930.
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