FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: Tara of the Oracles,
The Alchemical Twins Face the Fates
By: Olivia Robertson
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PORTAL I: ARIES
Rite 2: The Enchantress
"A hard choice leads to victory."
TEMPLE OF ALCHEMY
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO TWIN APPRENTICES, AIDEN & ELAINE): To face a choice that spins the web of our Fate, we need to invoke the Goddess Tara who made such a choice.
PRIEST ALCHEMIST (RAISES STAFF BEFORE VEILED PRIESTESS IN TRANCE): I invoke thee, Tara Star of the Mountain, Light of Truth that shines upon our earth.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS TARA
Truth is all powerful through the Cosmos. Truth neither diminishes nor increases. It is the constant flame within each being, manifesting cosmic law.
Love is present everywhere, and warms the heart of each creature. It is the life-bringing seed within the heart of the lotus, and no creature great or small, receives love in the same way. And this brings the joy of the Arts to glory in the originality of us all, Deities, humans, stars, planets, trees and flowers.
In order to obtain individuality, some there are who incarnate in material planets, and so obtain the rich store of experiences that are obtained in no other way. Others choose the path of perfection, and send rays of goodness to help evolving beings, themselves remaining in eternal bliss.
This is the choice. Either the pilgrim soul chooses to attain Deity through the path of Truth, and so shine brightly as a star. Others, inclined to the way of love, incarnate in myriad forms.
Both ways have success or disaster. Those who attain Truth may become arrogant, with icy hearts. Others, enjoying Love – dissipate themselves into insanity, having lost their Home.
My friends, follow the adorable path of the Arts, treading your way in balance! You will not convert ardent devotees of Truth or Love – but you will provide them with laughter and tears and natural happiness. You find both Star and Mountain!
PRIEST ALCHEMIST: We give thanks for this Oracle of the Goddess Tara.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST (TO ELAINE): Elaine, you blame yourself for playing with different ways, limited to none. Yours is the path of the Arts, though you always strive to be an active rescue worker. Look at this card, No I. “Le Bateleur”. What do you see?
ELAINE (EXAMINES THE CARD): I see the God Siva Who controls the five elements, in His sacred dance – Preservation, Creation and Destruction. The card in the Indian Tarot would be round. The meaning is the balancing of Yin and Yang. The five elements are the four elementary colours, and white of the Conjuror’s hair - Ether. . . Siva to Conjuror - in the West the Deities are minimized into Fortune-Tellers and Conjurors! Not so in the East.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: A clever reading, possibly aimed to exceed that of Aiden’s. It has. Now you need to make good your elucidation and enter trance, to face the reality of what your mind tells you. Are you willing?
ELAINE: I know the severity imposed by our Teachers. Still, I accept.
PRIESTESS ALCHEMIST: So be it. We shall be with you but not help you.
*** TRANCE JOURNEY ***
ELAINE: I find myself climbing up the hill of the Temple of the Zodiac and think of Mount Meru of India, and Tara of Ireland. Above the Temple on the Hill shines the brilliant Star which I think of as Sirius. I enter the Temple and pay my respects before the Central Flame.
I don’t recognise Aiden’s lamb over the Aries Portal. Gold light and shade make it look to me like a tiger cub! I need to watch out. In haste I push my way through red curtains, fearful of hesitation. ***
I face a forum of the Hindu Deities. Before them is a fire with three leaping flames. I wonder should I prostrate but a gesture from Kali bids me stand. Suddenly to my surprise a silent procession of Buddhist monks and nuns take their places in the lotus position on a dais to the right. I have never managed the lotus position – though I have tried.
Am I in the future, as usual? No, this is more powerful. I am in the etheric realm which controls our physical plane. The atmosphere is business-like, and I become aware of the clear minds of the Buddhists which look into my very self. I draw a deep breath. I feel protected by the humorous affection of Kali and Durga, fiery Hindu Goddesses.
A very tall imposing monk, with penetrating blue eyes addresses me. He looks like a University Professor. “Elaine,” he says, “It is the will of this assembly to bring into harmony the religion of Hinduism and the philosophy of Buddhism, at present impossible on earth. One practice we Buddhists and our brethren share is story-telling – Jakarta stories and Hindu myths. We have arranged just such a story for you. But our myths in this realm are real, and affect the material world. Are you willing to act the part of She you call Tara?”
“I agree. I am honoured.”
Kali laughs and says: “Don’t be so sure!” She waves her arm with her jingling bracelets. *** To my alarm I find myself in a heavy, soaking jungle.
Snakes slither into the undergrowth as I walk towards a small shrine, its pillars entwined with creeping plants. The air is buzzing with insects. Yes, this is only too real. Their stings hurt. My skin is covered with poisoned lumps and I shield my eyes from them. I have always honoured snakes – but don’t like a very lurid coloured one that seems interested in my ankles. Just as I reach the weed choked steps of the shrine – I feel heavy breathing… I am facing the terrible, incredibly beautiful face of a tiger, golden, black and white. I invoke Durga.
I hear Durga’s voice from far away. “He would tear you to pieces but he knows you are my friend.” The tiger lowers his mighty head and sniffs my bare feet. I am safe.
I mount the steps and enter the shrine. There seated in the lotus position is the aquiline-nosed monk like a Professor! He reminds me of my Uncle Jaspar, an expert on oriental studies in Oxford. He beckons me to sit down. I curl up uncomfortably on the floor.
He does not speak – but to my astonishment he begins to shape-shift. He has the slanting grey eyes of a Deva, inhuman, compelling. His mouth is wide and curved. He no longer has a shaved head. Pale untidy hair hangs around his head in straight locks. He wears casually some sort of pale woollen tunic. I know he is the God Apollo. Then there is a lightning flash, and he now is standing in dazzling white life – He is the God Siva.
He speaks to me and I can understand his words in English. “Elaine. I represent that Truth which you have loyally honoured, even if creating anger in others. It is now time to enjoy the love within your heart which you conceal. You face a choice.
“Your task is to reconcile the traditions of Hinduism with Buddhism. You follow a Goddess of Truth Who dwells eternally above the sacred Mountain of every faith as a Star, constant, pure and unattainable. You now face the need to accept your human incarnation, so that justice and compassion may prevail on earth.”
“With my own will, I agree.”
“You are asked to give up something you hold very dear, to comply with Buddhist tradition.”
“I will surrender what I hold most dear.”
“Then hear what it is, before you agree! In order to become Bodhisattva, One who descends into earthy incarnation to save others – you need to abandon your gender and become a man. This is the rule.”
I am furious. I cry out: “Never!”
Siva has become the monk again and He is smiling. “Oh Elaine, you have reacted exactly as Tara did – the only Goddess who refused to become a man, giving up her sex, in order to be Bodhisattva! Yet she became Bodhisattva. Cosmic Law needs exceptions, or there would be no spiritual progress. You will remain on the side-lines, both Devi and human. We need dissidents – artists – writers – actors. You have fulfilled your role as Tara.”
With a sudden rush I am precipitated from the shrine through the jungle – through the Assembly – I am back here!
*** END OF TRANCE ***
ELAINE RETURNS FROM TRANCE QUICKLY AND ABRUPTLY SITS UP. SHE HAS EARNED HER ALCHEMICAL DEGREE. REPORTS ARE SHARED AND THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
END OF RITE.
SOURCES: “Indian Mythology,” Ions, Hamlyn. “Images of Devi in Pahari Paintings,” Chhote Bharani, foreword Sivaramamurti, Delhi. “Chinese Mythology,” Christie, Hamlyn. “The Civilization of China,” Giles, Thorton Butterworth. “Monkey,” Wu Ch’eng-en, trans., Waley, Allen & Unwin, & Penguin Classics. “Goddesses of India, Tibet, China & Japan.” Durdin-Robertson. Clonegal Castle. Marseille Tarot, 1748, B.P. Grimaud, Paris, 1930.
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