FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Tara of the Oracles,
The Alchemical Twins Face the Fates
By: Olivia Robertson
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PORTAL IX: SAGITARRIUS
Rite 1: The Three Seeds Within the Lotus
"To change the outcome, look within."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIEST OF ALCHEMY (TO TWIN APPRENTICES, AIDEN & ELAINE): The Ninth Portal of Sagittarius offers the culmination of past efforts: Rebirth. We give birth, and also ourselves are reborn. So we need humility to face the end of all our endeavours, in order to accept what is new. To do so we need the peaceful serenity of the Goddess Parvati.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (RAISES HER LOTUS WAND): I invoke Thee, Holy Lady of the Lotus of Immortality, who despite all outer tumult remains seated entranced by the lotus pool, surveying thy own reflection in the rippling waters. Consort of the God Siva, Creator, Preserver, Destroyer, be with us now at this time of the death and rebirth of the Aeon.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS PARVATI
In your dreaming is your awakening. All that you regard as real, shows itself as a delusion, shimmering in a pool of desires. What you have achieved becomes as dust, as passing generations tread your creations to drifting sands.
Therefore look for Divine Reality not in the passing play you create to satisfy your longings, but rather remain still and all that you hope for will come to you easily, joyfully!
A mother suffers pain in giving birth, and yet is filled with the joy of the Creator when she holds her newborn child: so it is with the Deities when you yourselves are reborn and look up at them and smile!
Be still, and you will cause greater rivers to flow, bringing abundance to all. Play a small tune on a flute and you cause mighty trees to grow upon green hills. For all the world you see around you is created by thought, imagination and the passions. Find your minds, your dreams, your passions within the Divine Life hidden in your hearts. This is the jewel concealed within the heart of my lotus.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: Thanks are given to the Goddess Parvati for Her Oracle.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO ELANE): Elaine, we know how ardently you strive to help humans and animals. Yet you feel frustrated, because by nature you are an artist and love to be alone, seated under a tree. Now know that the way of the flower is to sit under a tree, and through this to extend into the tree, the land, the earth, the cosmos. Thus your hopes are fulfilled for yourself. But you may not force others to accept your way! They tread their own pilgrimage and do not respond to coercion, however well-meant. Will you undergo the Initiation of the Lotus?
ELAINE: I never can understand why people object to our giving them schools and aid and modern amenities. How like a school-mistress I sound! I had better undergo this initiation! I will understand why international aid is not always received with due gratitude…
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (SHOWS ELAINE A CARD FROM THE MARSEILLE PACK): Describe this Tarot Card.
ELAINE: I suppose this is correct, as the cards derive from India. Ah! The Ninth Gate of Change! This is “L’Hermite”. It shows a bearded pilgrim holding aloft a lantern. His left hand holds a staff. This is my Pilgrim’s Way.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: So be it. You will enter trance. We will be with you but may not help you.
*** TRANCE JOURNEY ***
ELAINE: I mount the Hill of the Zodiac, pondering on the various meanings people have given to the stars. Is our choice of names and division into twelve signs arbitrary, or were we guided? I enter the Temple and pay my respects to Vesta of the Vestal Flame within all that is. I find my way to the Portal of Sagittarius. It depicts the Archer, half man, half horse, but in a new way. It looks as if the man is struggling to escape from his body. On the other side of the portal is shown a young girl standing upon a mountain, and beckoning the man to dangerous heights. She is safe… She has wings.
I part the heavy tapestry curtains of the Portal and pass through. *** How beautiful! I am in a pastoral landscape with small primitive-looking huts and walls. I see a small gateway of rough stone and feel that this where I must go. But before I reach it, an old woman approaches me, extending a thin hand. She wears a threadbare sari. Although she speaks in a foreign tongue, I can understand what she says.
She tells me she needs my help now. She is a poor widow who has been turned out of her home because her dowry has proved worthless – debased coinage. Unless I help now, she fears she will die of hunger.
I feel my pockets – I have nothing. I tell her that I am going on pilgrimage to Parvati’s Pool, and shall return with help. Reluctantly I leave her, and pass through the gateway. I find myself in a field with cattle grazing. I pass through two more small gates as the ground begins to rise. At the third gateway a young woman rushes towards me. She implores my help. Her tale is as old as the hills and as new. She is wearing a beautiful gold sari. But, she says, all her ornaments are in vain. Her husband has fallen in love with her enemy, a sly courtesan. She wants me to poison her rival – a fate that should befall all cunning courtesans. I am taken aback. She gathers that I am a Priestess, but apparently she thinks my Goddess is Kali. I reply that there must be a less deadly solution. I am making pilgrimage to Parvati’s Pool and will return with help. I beg her not to kill her rival in the interval. I will hurry.
I follow the grassy winding path as it becomes more rough, with sheep rather than cattle grazing. At the sixth gate a small boy is seated crying. He looks poor and hungry. I sit down and try to understand what he is saying. I gather he is the illegitimate offspring of a large family. He is consistently ill-treated, especially by the other children, who beat him and call him ugly names. He would like to drown himself in the fast-flowing stream that runs by the field.
I command him with a mother’s voice not to drown himself. I am making pilgrimage to Parvati’s Pool, and will return, and bring him all that he needs. I dry his eyes and once more set forth.
By this time I am very weary but travel on and upwards, and as the hill rises I see a lovely landscape of pale blue mountains, some snow-capped and others rich with forests. A river winds downwards to where I had begun my journey. I could follow it homewards but I continue. I reach the ninth gate.
This portal is of exquisite ironwork, between very high crenulated walls leading to some great estate. I cannot push aside the huge gates as they are too heavy. But, concealed by bushes, is a small gateway with a wooden door and this I can enter, lowering my head.
I find myself in the most beautiful garden, laid out with flowering trees and rich grass. What I like is that deer are roaming under the trees, and in open flowery spaces are various young animals. I look up and am hit with an apple, expertly thrown by a monkey! The music of bird-song is on every side especially the cooing of doves.
I approach a pool drawn from a double waterfall, and from the trees appears a very tall man with wild long white hair. I know at once he is an Immortal. He has the strangest eyes, like moonstones, and a calm gaze.
He speaks to me. I have learnt not to drop on my knees, but to listen with care.
“My dear daughter,” he says, “All your life you have been making this pilgrimage. Now is the time of the culmination. I am he who was, and is and shall be, Creator, Preserver, Destroyer. My dance is of the cosmic stars and the time has come when the matrix of my encircling wheel will open upon worlds as yet unknown. Gaze now into a lotus in this pool and you will enter my wheel and attain what you seek. But listen well. You will gain only three seeds of the Flower of Life, that gives three wishes. You may give these to others if you wish. Be careful how you choose.”
All the faery tales I have always loved are now coming true! The God has vanished, and I find myself leaning over the pool and gazing into the golden heart of a white-petalled lotus. *** The flower becomes larger and larger and within it is a giant black hole – I find myself falling into it – down and down. I feel dizzy and clutch a golden rod. On it hang three golden spheres. I take them to me, and push them into my pockets. I rapidly ascend – once more I am my own normal size – and the lotus is not a giant vortex but a simple flower; I have its three seeds. *** I have chosen my three wishes, Peace, Love and Happiness.
I make my way down the hill. At the sixth gate I find the little boy and give him a seed, his wish. At once he declares he wants revenge on his brothers, and to be adopted by an important family. I know this will happen. I don’t think he has a very nice character – wanting revenge.
At the third gate I find the beautiful, wronged wife. She accepts my seed eagerly. She says she has now no need to kill her rival, because her husband will die, according to her wish, leaving her all his fortune. What an unpleasant woman! What can I do?
At the first gate I find the starving old widow, and by now expect her to choose something unpleasant with her wish. Much is my relief when she says now she can have riches, which she will share with her family and friends. She forgives them all because she loves them.
Suddenly I burst out laughing! I’ve spent all my wishes and don’t mind. And I hear the words of the God Siva coming to me as from a mountain top. “Elaine, you are now peaceful, loving and happy because you have found your own hidden Self.”
ELAINE SLOWLY RETURNS FROM TRANCE AND ACCEPTS HER ALCHEMICAL DEGREE THOUGHTFULLY. REPORTS ARE SHARED, HEALING SENT FORTH. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
END OF RITE.
SOURCES: “The Ramayana and the Mahabharata”, Dutt & Rhys, eds, Everyman‘s Library. “The Vedas,” Muller, Indological Book House, Delhi. “Indian Mythology”, Ions, Hamlyn, “The Goddesses of India, Tibet, China & Japan,” Durdin-Robertson, Clonegal Castle. “Autobiography of a Yogi,” Yogananda. “Strange News from Another Star & Other Stories,” Hess, Penguin. “The Celestine Prophecy,” Redfield, Warner Books. Marseille Tarot, 1748, B.P. Grimaud, Paris, 1930.
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