FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Tara of the Oracles,
The Alchemical Twins Face the Fates
By: Olivia Robertson
Printable PDF File
PORTAL X: CAPRICORN
Rite 2: A New Judge Has Come
"Use the law as a handrail, not hand-cuffs."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES AIDEN & ELAINE): This is a time of great change. People are in confusion, as the old laws of religion and state are shaken to their foundations, and there is no code to take their place. We need to invoke the Goddess of Justice, Astraea.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (RAISES STAFF): I invoke the Goddess Astraea! At the end of the Golden Age, when evil prevailed over good, it is written that you, Goddess of Justice Herself, left earth and with your mighty wings returned to the stars. Come back to us Divine Astraea, and teach us the difference between good and evil, truth and lies.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ASTRAEA
Dear children, do not blame yourselves for following the old ways hallowed by centuries of tradition both priestly and tribal. This was part of your learning. I did not veil myself, with my fellow Deities, because we despised your ways, but because we wished you to discover Truth in Her many aspects. Your priesthood explored well the mysterious realms of the Psyche. Your tribal chiefs learnt to bring codes of law to preserve law and order.
Sometimes we Olympians sent Avatars to introduce a new way; the way of love through understanding: truth through courageously facing scientific fact. Remember, humble facts are the sandaled feet of the loftiest Deity – the necessary feet of clay, the earth.
Now rejoice that you call upon us because you are ready to receive us! We do not rule obedient followers. We work in harmony with those who think, act and feel for themselves – the inner Self which is within each of you, within all that is. I do not return – because I never left! I was always there for those who could find me. Be of their number!
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: We give thanks to the Goddess Astraea for Her Oracle.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (TO AIDEN): This Oracle well serves your own needs, Aiden! Your spirit soars, but your mind longs for scientific acceptance. Few occultists like being termed “fruit-cakes” or “nutters.” Women mind less, because they are used to it. Are you prepared to take up the Goddess’ offer and get to know Her?
AIDEN: With all my heart – I mean with all my mind. Yes.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: To undergo the Initiation of the Just you need to understand this Tarot card, deemed “unscientific” by some.
AIDEN (EXAMINES THE CARD CLOSELY): Of course! Card XX, “Le Jugement” – dreaded by our ancestors. The last Day. The Apocalypse. It has a whole channel on the media, fore-dated 2012. No! I won’t laugh. Many take it seriously. I expect we’ll just have an anti-climax – the London Olympics. *** The card depicts an angel, with a white halo blowing a gold trumpet – an alchemical symbol. He has four wings and attached to the trumpet is the emblem of a gold equal-armed cross. Below him is a sandy desert, and three naked humans – a young man and woman and an old man. The young man seems to be standing inside a dark green vat – hell? I don’t know what the inner meaning is.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: That is what you are about to find out. You may enter trance. We will watch your progress with goodwill – but may not touch the scales of justice. You must make it on your own.
AIDEN: Encouraging remark…but what I expected from the card.
*** TRANCE JOURNEY ***
AIDEN: Slowly I make my way up the Hill of the Zodiac. Out of the body one experiences all one’s old superstitions. I used to dread the Head-Master’s study in my school. Rather like God he was. The grey beard helped, and the cane. I enter the Temple of the Zodiac and especially pray to Vesta for help. Then I make my way up to the Portico of Capricorn.
Elaine did not mention that it is formed by a huge dolmen – rather menacing. The Goat looks Pan-like, devious. But I like the shimmering star maiden on the left. She may be of help if I find this difficult. I want to get through all right and not look a fool. I must succeed. Elaine did. So I boldly part the black curtains and walk through the dolmen…
Oh no! I suppose the psychological explanation is that you get what you fear. I’m in a large version of the Head-Master’s study! This is worse. It is part of the Olympus complex. Here are some of those who hold the offices of Gods and Goddesses. They wear black poplin silk hoods and robes like Masters of the Arts. Which they are, in every sense of the word.
As if to reassure me – good P.R. – a woman comes forward and takes my hand kindly. I feel about seven years old.
“We are so pleased to have you with us, Aiden,” she says in her grand accent. “You were so successful on the last occasion. As a King you stopped a war.”
“By getting myself stabbed by annoying everyone,” I said – “If that is what you call being a success.” I felt a complete ass in that crown. It wasn’t fair, stabbing me in the back. To my embarrassment I am sounding like a sulky little boy – or am I picking up Minerva’s thought?
“All part of the job,” says the genial Jupiter, puffing at a cigar, and ridiculously reminding me of Edward VII. “Martyrdom is the beginning of wisdom – not the end. I haven’t been martyred for millennia… You learn to let people go their own way. They learn the hard way.”
“The best way,” says a long lanky man with black hair and side-whiskers – reminds me of Benjamin Disraeli. I gather he is the present Saturn incumbent. At least I’ll get sense from him. So I come to the point – I hope I sound business-like. “What do you want of me?”
“We have been called upon by our constituents – the human-race – for help through the regular channels, ecclesiastical and secular,” says a gentle-faced woman with golden hair drawn back into a net. She looks like the White Queen in “Alice through the Looking Glass.” She must be the Moon Goddess – looks wifely, but not to be trifled with. A skilled Witch.
A young man with longish hair now steps forward. Mercury, naturally. “What they want is clarification about what God wants,” he said. “A. Is there a God? B. How Many? C. Any Goddesses? D. Do humans have souls, or only some of them? E. Is there eternal damnation? F. Does Heaven exist? Would it be boring, going on and on?”
“Oh yes – and G. They want to know: What is the Truth?”
“You are meant to answer all these questions,” says Minerva, as if offering an examination for acceptance into a good university.
“I’ll brief you as to your schedule,” says Mercury. “I’m sure I recognise a well-known journalist – I hope not “Private Eye.” “I feel we have encapsulated all the necessary data required. We’ll provide the necessary supernatural overtones to let them know you have been sent by us. That will be adjusted to where you are sent. You may be a Bodhisattva. They don’t want God in some places.”
He is consulting a scroll. “Oh yes – you’ll be a new judge in a small backward European country, just recovering from a civil war. They are extremely moral, strict and religious. I’m not sure which one – you’ll find out soon enough. You have been sent from the European Union to settle a dispute of a domestic sort, but involving Very Important Persons.”
“I’m not much good at people problems,” I say. “That’s more Elaine’s area.”
“Which is precisely why you must do this,” says Mercury coolly. "You probably won’t get shot. Just spat at – that sort of mob thing. Listen well, therefore. A man and a woman are fighting over the custody of their baby girl. The wife is in the right, it is held, as the husband has divorced her and married another woman. The characters of the two women would interest a novelist. The mother is loving, passionate, temperamental. The new wife is cool, well-educated and scholarly. You have been sent to adjudicate because this volatile, violent nation is divided into two parties – one pro the Mother, the other pro the husband, a popular politician.”
“When do I leave?” I ask – but even as I speak I find myself caught up in a psychic whirlwind depriving me of all my senses – but not my mind. I am in a void.
I hear incongruously the rustle of silk. I find myself before a mirror, admiring my voluminous black silk robe. I wear a cap like Martin Luther’s, or Saint Sir Thomas Moore. The robe gives me some dignity I don’t usually have. Wide. Powerful. Wise.
I shall be a just judge. Mine shall be like the Wisdom of Solomon. His decision to give a child to the biological mother – through a ruse – is legendary – “The Wisdom of Solomon.”
I am conducted by a dignitary carrying a mace into a courtroom. Advocates are shuffling papers. The Bailiff strikes the ground with his mace as I mount a dais, and he commands: “All stand!” So they all do. I take my splendid chair with a rustle of silk. I place my hands on the elaborate sides.
I try to attend to what the advocates are saying. One, a tubby little fellow in a comical, British white wig is painting a portrait of the true mother, loving, sensitive, caring. He contrasts this with the cold step-mother, calculating, career-oriented, unfeeling.
I don’t like the father’s advocate. The father is portrayed as having his good-nature betrayed by the passionate nature of his erst-while wife. He was heartbroken at having to divorce her, after accusing her – I feel most unfairly, of extending her loving care to quite a few men – a real estate agent, a football player, and a jockey. He had no proof – just jealousy. He described his new wife as moral, reliable and hard-working. All a politician needed.
I know what I must do. Give the weeping mother her baby, despite the real-estate agent, the football player, and the jockey. So I devise a way to prove the mother to be true and loving. Her tears convince me. I feel like Solomon.
“Hear my verdict.” I say. “Either one of these claimants must give up the child, or she shall be sent to the care home in the Carpathian mountains for unwanted babies.”
I feel a shiver of horror run through the court. It must be a rigorous home – the only one in the country. I wait for the true mother to give up her claim, in order to save her baby from such a place.
She refuses to. The baby is hers whether in a care home or not. She will never give in to that woman or her disloyal husband.
The husband gives up his claim. His wife says the home is notorious for severity. He gives up any claim to his baby, to rescue it from a care home she distrusts.
I am shocked by the real mother’s behaviour. I give my verdict. “The true mother is the step-mother! She and her husband abandon their claim, to ensure the child is saved from this home. It should be inspected by the government and modernized. The baby is to be given to the husband.” I knock the gavel. All stand. The baby is handed to her father and she smiles. Outside an angry mob wave placards stating “Fight for Mother’s Rights!” They are throwing things at me. So it is with relief that I recognise Mercury come to conduct me home. I think I heard a shot. . .
I am pleased with myself, feeling I have outdone Solomon, putting justice before the maternal blood-tie. But the Gods always have the last word. Mercury says: “Congratulations, Aiden! You have saved the care home from destruction by that dreadful child! She is one of Us – Eris, Goddess of Discord. Started early, hasn’t She?” He vanishes before I can reply. . . I find myself returning from trance with my head in a whirl.
AIDEN ACCEPTS HIS DEGREE, BUT INSISTS ON CALLING IT “MY DEGREE OF IGNORANCE,” HE EXPLAINS: “THE FATES MAKE A CATSCRADLE OF OUR LAWS.” REPORTS ARE SHARED AND THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
END OF RITE.
SOURCES: “The Metamorphoses,” Ovid, trans. Davidson, 1959. “Monkey, A Folk Tale of China”, Ch'êng-ên, trans. Whaley. “The Government Inspector,” Gogol. “Crotchet Castle,” Love-Peacock. “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” Hardy, Dover. “The Man Who Was Thursday,” Chesterton, Arrowsmith. “Alice in Wonderland and through the Looking-Glass,” Lewis Carroll. Drawings & Essays by Beerbohm & Thurber. “Aphorism re. The Queen’s Regulations” Gen. Lawrence Parsons. 19th century. Marseille Tarot, 1748, B.P. Grimaud, Paris, 1930.
Continue to the Next Rite
Return to Tara Table of Contents
Return to the Online Liturgy
Copyright Note: The FOI Liturgy on this website is copyright protected. Copying the Liturgy text or pages to another website or publication, is prohibited. Printing of individual rites by FOI members for their personal and group ritual use is encouraged and allowed.
All Rights Reserved.