FOI Online Liturgy
Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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The glory of Magic is that the Practitioner may attain co-creation with the Deities. The Magic Wand is the paint-brush, the Magic Circle is the canvas and the pigments are living rays. The forms conjured may through Invocation become animated: and causes imagined within the mind may produce effects on many levels through the law of Octaves.
Let us picture the magical aspirant as the Fool, in the Marseilles Tarot deck. This ancient pack of coloured symbolic pictures, the prototype of playing cards, was brought to Europe by gypsies from India through Egypt. They have been called the lost Book of Thoth, Egyptian God of Wisdom. The Major Arcanum deals with initiation: the cards of the four suits, the Minor Arcanum, instructs the neophyte in the art of controlling the four elements of consciousness.
The Fool, or Neophyte, man or woman, encounters the two great Teachers: Thoth the Magician and Sekhmet the Enchantress, the Egyptian Lioness Goddess. Both have Divine Rays of Power emanating from their head-dresses which are in the form of the figure-of-eight, denoting balanced force. The Magician controls the four elements: Spirit, Energy, Emotion, Instinct. These are symbolised by the staff, the sword, the cup and the coin: air, fire, water and earth.
The Magician is the Hermetic Psychopompos, Guide of souls.
The Enchantress, "La Force," controls the inner "Kundalini" Power. She is depicted taming a lion, who symbolically emanates from her own body.
The Fool, who represents the magical Neophyte - whether man or woman is introduced by the Magician to the four Lunar and Solar Goddesses and Gods. The ordeals of Initiation into spiritual rebirth through alchemical transmutation is next depicted. The neophyte endures death and resurrection: faces the horned God and receives the Waters of Life from the Goddess. The successful accomplishment of this Initiation is depicted by the symbolic "lightning struck Tower." This shows "La Maison Dieu," Temple of the Spirit, struck by lightning, which forces open the castellated roof of the Tower, which emits flames. From this ordeal we realise that the Fool has been initiated through the opening of his or her Crown Centre at the top of the head by the Kundalini Power. The newly awakened one returns precipitously to Mother Earth. The Apotheosis of the initiate is signalled by the enjoyment of the spheres of moon, sun and stars. The Beatific Vision is given whereby the Two Goddesses of Sun and Moon are seen Unveiled. The Empress has shed her Crown and Robes and is revealed as the naked Love Goddess Hathor, the garter of Venus on her left leg. Above her is the constellation of Taurus - Hathor is a Cow Goddess - with the seven stars the Hyades, with the Red Eye of the Bull, Aldebaran. She is "La Source" and pours forth the Waters of Life.
The last card of the Major Arcanum shows Isis unveiled, once the Goddess-Hierophant robed in priestly attire. Now she stands forth naked as Fortuna, Sophia of the World. She is encircled by the Zodiac, and guarded by the four Winged Kerubs, Taurus, Leo, the Eagle and the Angel.
The Enchantress conveys to the new Initiate the energies of the Life Force. The Magician teaches the use of these through the four alchemical elements. It is the Magician's hand which appears on the four Ace cards, wielding the emblem of each suit. Finally, the successful Initiate takes on the role of Enchantress or Magician, ready to guide a new Fool. A neophyte appears with pack and dog ready to undergo the Quest.
The wise Practitioner honours the Divinity of Goddesses and Gods, before every Rite by some act, such as the offering of incense. The Deity or Deities are not impersonal archetypes or personified ideals formulated by human beings, but are transcendental Beings who through Their own use of the Archetypes and Virtues, control the Universe through the Angelic Hierarchy. It is wise for the Magician to describe the Deity and the Virtues associated with such a Being, and the work expected of the Devotees. A God and Goddess by very definition must be good, and so have divine attributes. Hence the Practitioner has complete faith both in the Deities and in Guardian Angels and Helpers. The intention of the ceremony must also be good.
Western Magic has frequently involved the evocation of the Spirits of the Elements. Mediaeval practitioners believed in the efficacy of an extraordinary traffic in such spirits, in order to obtain enforced assistance for some intention. They would conjure up an Elemental King and strike a bargain, whereby, in return for an offering, they would obtain the work of Elemental spirits. One is reminded of the slave trade and use of indentured labourers: On a humbler basis, Irishmen were anxious to seize leprechauns, and shake them until they "told where the gold was hid". One reads in mediaeval treatises, of tyrannical Magis being torn to pieces by revolutionary spirits, through poltergeist holocaust! The voluntary participation of any spirit in magical Rites is not only good democracy: it is prudent.
Even in the nineteenth century a white Magician gives his readers a formula as to how to imprison a good spirit in his house! Fortunately, magic has not been as successful as science in bringing power to those unethically qualified to receive it. One thinks of Shakespeare's portrayal of the Welsh Wizard, Owen Glendower, who claims: "I can call Spirits from the vasty deep!" and Hotspur's cynical reply: "Aye, so can I and so can any man! But will they come when you do call for them?"
We may smile at Prospero's exploitation of the Sylph Ariel in Shakespeare's "The Tempest." In this play Ariel never stops complaining about long hours and little pay. However, when Prospero presumes to invoke the Goddess Juno, and then says casually, when he has "banished" her, "These things are such stuff as dreams are made on", one detects religious intolerance at the back of much Western Magic.
There is impertinence in Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus", when he not only invokes Helen of Troy, Daughter of Zeus, but announces that she is to be his paramour! Falling between the Pagan and the Christian stools, he lands in the Abyss. To insult Juno Queen of Heaven, and four Archangels, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel seems more ridiculous than shocking! Every back-street would-be Magician orders Archangelic protection at each ceremony, and then banishes them at the close, in the manner of a Sergeant Major saying; "Company dismiss!" Those on the left-hand path who invoke Demons could hardly be less or more foolhardy.
What has caused this arrogant attitude on the part of mere mortals to Gods and Goddesses, Angels and Archangel's once worshipped or respected? The rise of exclusive monotheism through Judaism, Christianity and Islam left no room for rival Deities. The Gods of one age become the Devils of another! One Christian Theologian in the Middle Ages declared that Magic might be permitted to be practiced, if the "spirits" so conjured were used against their own will, to be commanded by a Christian! Thus spirits were subjected to the Church. Otherwise they might preach heresy to their human allies. Therefore any “supernatural" being whether an Olympian Deity or an Archangel, had to be subject to the Monotheists' Deity.
One effect of this practice was that Theurgists, afraid of accusations of Idolatry through the creation of Magical Images, took to formulating an abstract of the One God, so that the Tetragrammation was in effect an occult scientific formula. This hardly appealed to Orthodox Authorities whose Deity was no mere abstraction. Thus the magical practitioner was under threat from two sources: the anger of the Patriarchal Deity, who did not appear to like Magic anyway: and the continual attacks from the Opposition, the de-throned Gods. The Goddesses are wont to withdraw from humanity when unloved. The Gods are more active in disapproval. Hence Satan, once Elder Brother of Jehovah, became The Devil. Pan, beloved of nature spirits, was feared as the Horned God: but was worshipped in secret along with Diana. Lucifer, once the benign God of the Morning Star of Love, Venus, was held to be the epitome of Pride after its Fall. Beelsebub, once God of Light and Truth, was also included in the Opposition.
Now we can see the cause of that psychic sickness of the West which has lead to paranoid dualism and, on the outer physical level, to fratricidal wars. Those who followed the Monotheist Deity were labelled "white" and of the Right Hand, for they were followers of Law and Order. The more atavistic Pagan followers of ancient religious practices, associated with fertility, were dubbed "black" and of the left hand. Regarding both parties, one feels that they were like those Knights in Armour who started out in a battle brilliant with shining armour and colourful emblems: but ended covered with heavy grey mud, indistinguishable one from the other.
It is only now that those who feared the eternal damnation of the Patriarchal Law-Giver, turn for comfort to the Mother Goddess. She draws all Her children to Her with forgiveness, for no Mother deserts Her own child, however wicked. Besides, the Mother Goddess has within Herself the Power to redeem all beings through the transmutation of Re-Birth. We may all live again, through Her.
Thanksgiving to the Deities is the appropriate end to a magical Rite. Thanksgiving to the Goddess expresses gratitude for our rebirth from Rite to Rite, day to day, life to life.
All languages are to an extent arbitrary and this also applies to magical terminology. For instance, the planet Saturn, astronomically speaking, is the sixth planet from the sun and is an exquisite rose and pale green in colour, with pale luminous rings. But in occult symbology Saturn is "black" and "number 5" in the West, and "red" and "the number 7” in the Middle East astrology. A student may be confused on being told that his sun-sign is in Aries, when in fact it is under Pisces, owing to the precession of the equinoxes since Ptolemy's era. He is informed that Gemini has a twofold nature, whereas he knows that in reality the two stars of Gemini are parseks away from each other. Why, he wonders, work with four elements when in fact there are many more?
An answer could come from the postulate that primitive humans were taught by Magi. These Adepti may have used the sky as a picture book through which they taught early man Divine Truths. Different stories and pictures could have been used in the West, in China and other areas, related to the same constellations. Thus relationship would have been established between Star and Planetary Beings and humans; and the secrets of life imparted through word of mouth by myths and legends. People will always relate themselves to the world around them: to animals, trees and stars. Myth is the language of the soul and Magic enacts these myths for particular purpose.
If this were all, then Magic is a subjective technique that helps those with artistic tastes and Jungian methods to achieve inner integration through associative symbols. There are now many such magical practitioners, who claim no psychic powers.
The Rites in this Liturgy are not subjective, though they have subjective elements. The Powers described have been experienced, the visions seen, the effects gained through causes put into operation. And here we have the great division between those who have experienced magic through clairvoyance, clairaudience, levitation, telekinesis, mystical awakening - one or any of these - and those who have not. "Those who know" cannot prove, cannot explain, cannot convince. All they can do is to provide a rainbow bridge whereby those who long for magical experience may attain some of this alchemical gold, obtained through transmutation of elements from one sphere to another.
There are photographs in existence taken under scientific conditions whereby radiations may be seen emanating from objects blessed by hands of a healer. An amulet, a piece of cloth, oil and water may be magnetised in this way. Water and oil transfer the power swiftly: power is held in stone for thousands of years. Holy water derives its continuing power in spring and river through the stones of its bed which, when once charged, continually irradiate the water. The charge is affected by the special Intention conveyed by the Practitioner. The brain itself may receive electric charge as a result of being blessed. Chemical changes in the brain can affect offspring of the person concerned: hence the inheritance of acquired characteristics can occur through chemicals. There may in some cases be Divine Election, instead of the very slow natural selection of our evolution.
The secrecy of some magical practises are as necessary as political "classification” of certain scientific formulae. For though the great ethical laws of life given through philosophy and religion are open to all; the manipulation of forces through the Serpent Power and through the occult elements can be dangerous for the uninitiated. Ethical control is a necessity for all theurgists. In magic it is not enough to mean well: it is vital to do well.
Every being has the Tree of Life within. This Tree has for its trunk the spine, and around the trunk are coiled two streams of Power, "The Melusina" Serpents. One serpent stream is golden in colour and brings hot power to the body. It looks like a Bird of Paradise network of tiny filaments crossing at various points. It converges at the heart. The Silver serpent power spreads forth from two points in the head like mighty stag's antlers, reaching outwards into the Universal Web. This brings cold power to the head. Thus the whole body of human, animal, bird or snake, or our own earth, is well represented by the Wand of Hermes. This Caduceus, a rod encircled by two snakes is surmounted by a winged disk. At the points where the serpent streams touch are the Psychic Centres, the Chakras ("wheels" in Sanskrit) the Lotuses, the Apples. Each Centre has varying colours and brings different psychic powers and energies. The Enchantress gives these Apples to the Magician, and both use their Powers for good.
For the last few thousand years intellectual and practical concerns have preoccupied humanity, especially men, the bread winners and defenders. To offset this specialisation, Spiritual Teachers have introduced the development of the Heart Centre, "Anahata Chakra" of generous Love. Those who practice the development of all-embracing religious love, learn to transmute the passions in the Solar Plexus Centre, and draw these into the sphere of the Heart Centre. One can visualise the Sign of Mars, the extrovert emblem of the warrior, a red circle with out-shot arrow, being transformed through generous giving, into the Valentine Heart of Love, receiving the arrow into itself. The outer expression of this transformation takes place through the sacramental use of food and drink.
In Ancient Egyptian myth Set and his people were cannibals, until Osiris taught them to abstain from eating their fellows, and brought them the tilling of the soil for crops. In the East centuries later the Buddha and his followers inculcated wide-spread vegetarianism to millions and the offering of flowers and grains was substituted for animal sacrifices in Hindu and far Eastern Temples. The effect of this was enhanced by the practice of Yoga and other methods to refine the human body.
Western pre-eminence in technological sciences and intellectual philosophies was accompanied by backwardness in religion. The Romans were wont to enjoy vicarious cannibalism by watching their fellow human beings being eaten by hungry animals in the arena! Throughout the West the Deities were assumed to enjoy the savour of burning flesh. The sacrifice of meat was believed to be accepted by the Jewish Deity, when offered by Abel and the vegetarian offering of Cain rejected. Human sacrifice slowly gave place to animal sacrifice and the Christians substituted for this practice the trans-substantiation of bread and wine into the body of the slain God. In the West, relationship with the Divine through theurgy has been predominatingly through eating and hence through killing. Death and resurrection was the obsession of the priest and magician. Thus it was Patriarchal in theory and practice. Man was the hunter: man garnered the corn. He was, as is stated by Krishna in the "Bhagavad-Gita”, both The Red Slayer and the Slain. Communion with the Deity was a lonely act, in ritual eating, whether man or god were consumed: the practice was hardly a social one!
A fundamental change is now taking place in the evolution of the human psychic centres, heralding the development of a new type of man and woman. Ritual Marriage, the drawing together of opposites for creative purposes, is bringing a new humanity into birth. The activation of a little known Chakra is being brought about by various Tantric, Sufi, Egyptian and Wiccan practices. The Delphys Maternal Centre is the psychic equivalent to the womb. It is the Aset Seat of the Parthenos, called in China the Temple of the Heavenly Ruler. Situated in the heart cavity and near the spleen of both sexes, it is behind and below the Heart Centre and above the Solar Plexus Centre. Hence, hidden by the Heart and Solar Plexus luminaries, it has been called by Western Occultists "The Sun behind the Sun." It is the Adytum, the concealed chamber of rebirth, the Omphalos Hive of the navel. Every Egyptian tomb represented this womb of re-birth through the Mother. The tomb entrance is guarded on the lintel by Isis with Her wings outstretched. The wings are depicted as emanating from the Delphys part of the back. It was in Her winged form, kneeling, that she is shown restoring Her Husband the God Osiris to life in order that the Hawk God Horus might be born to Her.
Through this Delphys Centre, life may be renewed through Divine Influx. This refers to Immaculate Conception, the Goddess giving birth to Herself. The inclusion of the God - and man - in the creative act is presented through the participation of Osiris - Horus - Eros - Gabriel. Parthenogenesis is symbolised by the self-renewing Phoenix. The Delphys Cord which attaches the psychic to the physical body is the equivalent of the physical umbilical cord attached to navel and unborn child.
The White Goddess has been seen by thousands of people during this century, and Apparitions of Her have become more frequent during the Seventies. For a few years She has appeared physically over the Coptic Church in On near Cairo, witnessed by thousands of Moslems, Copts and those of other faiths. She appeared for hours at various times and has been photographed. She occasionally was accompanied by strange white doves. She has been called "Isis," "Fatima", "Mary". When this White Lady or another such Visitant appeared at Fatima in 1917 She is reported to have told Lucia, the girl who spoke with Her, that She wished a portrayal Of Her Immaculate Heart to be depicted and venerated side by side with a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her request that the whole earth should be dedicated to Her "Immaculate Heart" by the Pope has since been fulfilled.
Thus we are given the concept of two Hearts to be reverenced throughout the world; one already known, the other, feminine, newly presented to us. The word "immaculate" was already given in the enigmatic words "I am the Immaculate Conception" by the Virgin Figure at Lourdes. We may see here a connection with the Delphyos Centre of the Parthenos. The Sacred Heart is traditionally shown surrounded by a crown of thorns: the Immaculate Heart pierced by Seven Swords which we may take as shafts of light. These twin Hearts may be compared with those of the God Siva and The Goddess Parvati of Hinduism. The Greek God of Love, Eros with his Bride Psyche have their two hearts pierced by one arrow. This symbols of twin Hearts of Love is still popular on Valentine Greeting cards!
C.W. Leadbeater of the Theosophical Society published coloured pictures with descriptions of this Centre, which he presented as being the receiver and giver of seven channels of "Pranas," of power streams. He was laughed at by critics for introducing this "unknown" Chakra, and for substituting it for the Sex Centre. The latter was regarded as Victorian prudery. But Leadbeater was a remarkable clairvoyant. This Chakra is obviously connected with the throat and Sex centres. It produces creativity of every sort: psychic projection, healing, artistic expression and healthy childbearing. Spiritual re-birth through the Mother Goddess is activated through Her Hidden Rose.
There is another significant change in magical practice. It concerns two Centres in the brain, connected with the pineal and the pituitary glands. They are mental and psychic centres, respectively, the Third Eye and the Inner Eye. The Outer Eye is that of Horus the Hawk, Uatchat. The Inner Eye is that of the Goddess, which Welsh Magicians know as the Owl's Eyes of the Goddess Blodeuwedd. During the last three thousand years, the Iron Age, man has been forced in the struggle for survival to develop the left side of the brain. This controls the right side of the body, including the tool-using right hand. Through the left side of the brain has come the use of speech, and hence of logic. The linear-logical part of the brain has brought about control of man's environment through technology - from the discovery of the wheel to the building of atomic reactors. It has given humanity laws and systems of thought: it is the hallmark of civilization.
During this period of mental and practical developments the gifts of the right side of the brain which controls the left side of the body fell into abeyance and disrepute. Emotions and instinct were assigned to woman and children and to primitive tribes! Meanwhile, the psychic Centres connected with the brain remained comparatively undeveloped and were not recognised as having any importance. The Examination System, whereby the survival of the physically fittest has given place to the survival of the cleverest, has pushed psychic people into the background. Therefore, the very psychic centres which will help to produce a new human race with visionary and intuitive minds, have been disregarded, feared and inhibited by those who rule the earth. For people without the powers of vision, telepathy, precognition and telekinesis will naturally wish to suppress these talents in others! Despite contempt and persecution the psychic will inherit the earth.
As the golden dawn lights the sky, the Sekhmet Enchantress who is in all women awakens from a trance of thousands of years. The Lioness stirs. She arouses her Lover, the Magician who is in all men, who lies in a death-like trance. Together they create a new magic of life, and the Powers flow from them to awaken their companions. Every creature of Nature joins them in the Spiral Dance of Creation. And the Sidhe and all Elemental Spirits lead the dance to other realms. Urania, Muse of Magical Arts, with her brilliant Sisters, inspire musicians and singers and poets, and bring their gifts to those who begin once more to sense and to hear and to see. Music of the encircling spheres reach long-deaf ears. The very Olympians, the Deities of Asgard and Devachan and Tir na nOg and the poets of Elysium bless the magical rites. The silver arrows of Artemis and Her nymphs awaken the Great God Pan from his long sleep. All Nature is brought into harmony.
Whatever evolutionary progress may come through magic, whatever powers are given by the Deities, it is the conscience of the recipient which makes these gifts good. Evil is but the distorted shadow of the actual and cannot relate to eternal reality. Hence any misuse of occult powers inevitably leads to their decay and the degeneration of the body and soul of the practitioner. A weakness of the contemplative is selfishness. The sin of the religious fanatic is to persecute others. The failing of the magician is hunger for power. For magic is to do, and to do is to wish to expand in activity. Therefore, consideration for others is essential. One realises the disastrous effects produced by scientists who have allowed the fruit of their work to be used to maim and kill thousands - even millions of their fellow humans. They are in danger of permitting their work to be used to destroy all the creatures of the earth, and to pollute land and sea and air. A similar fate could be that of the occultist without a good conscience. To interfere with the soul can be more evil than to injure the body. Therefore, those who wish to use magic need to promote the Good in order to help to transform our earth into what it shall be: a paradise.
In these Magical Rites the Gods are associated with the Outer Arcanum: the Goddesses with the Inner Mysteries, except in the case of the planet Venus. A creative Imagination is needful in the Practitioner who seeks to find his or her true originality. Any solitary individual may perform these Rites. The Fellowship of Isis provides Attunement Times at dawn and dusk, from 6.30 to 8.30 mornings and evenings. As members live all over the world, someone may be attuned to the Goddess at any hour. Therefore, the member performing a ceremony alone - is not alone, and may feel the presence of other members on the telepathic network if so desired.
The honouring of Deity, particularly the Goddess, is the primary step, with expression of the Intention. Simple acts such as the offering of incense, the lighting of candles are helpful. It is good in any room, especially in a city, to be aware of the points of the compass, the position of sun and moon and of the stars. The elaborate instructions for robes and ritual implements described before each Rite assist the creative imagination of the Practitioner, even when alone in a bed-sitting room! For is there not a coloured television set concealed in every head, best seen when the eyes are shut?
If only the ill-fated Magician Doctor Faustus had honoured the Deities and had good Intention, he would have achieved his own Heart's Desire: to see All Heaven in a Flower. He can try again. Magicians always do.
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