Sophia, Cosmic Consciousness of the Goddess
Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson
Mystical Awakening of Gemini, Artemis and Apollo
Ritual no. 4
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ARTEMIS
Oracle: The loveliness of Truth excels all beauties: and penetrates heavy curtains of deliberate ignorance! The lost soul, wrapped in self-deceiving mirage, fears the onslaught of intuition which, biding not the delaying tactics of the reason, shoots straight into the soul, bringing forth all-consuming transformation! So is it told that I transform a man into a stag. For total surrender is what I demand, not by law, not by words, nor by reason: but through the insistent command of perfect beauty. This surrender to My Grace forms the alembic of transmutation, and from the brow of mortal man bringeth forth the mighty stag's antlers of Light, which I bear Myself, and which penetrates through all heavens. My Light is the White Light of Truth and it shineth forth from the brow. It pours forth from every shining atom of My Body, forming a penumbra of many-coloured splendour. Like a silver birch it straightaway shineth up My Spine, and like glorious fruit gleams from My Heart and Hands and Feet. For I am the Goddess of Manifested Power, which bringeth to all creatures the concealed Wisdom of the Veiled Sophia. For long years hath the Power of the White Goddess been concealed, and My veiled votaries prayed on their knees, wearing nuns' robes. For those thousands of years the God, My Divine Brother, prevailed, that the sun rays of intellect should teach men to reason and to act with fore-thought. So do the Rays of Phoebus Apollo bring you your sciences and your cherished logic.
But the time now comes in the cosmic cycle when direct knowledge comes to you not through the God but through the Goddess. Mystical comprehension is instantaneous, is beyond time and space, and yet includes all time and space. Many dread My Manifestation, which they say can bring madness or death. And this may be so for the unprepared. But when your mind and your heart yearn with inexplicable longing for some forgotten beauty: when earthly pleasures and tasks no longer hold your concentration: when you would even lose your reason and die rather than forgo your search for Me: then you are ready! My beam of Light will be your pathway and My Silver Arrows shall make clear your mind and heart. You will feel My Power like a waterfall pour through you: enlightening your mind and making joyful your heart. Heavenly music and dance and song will accompany you, and you will find yourself radiate My Power to all those whose lives touch yours.
On a white and gold draped altar let there be two white candles, a silver bowl of water, burning incense and a star map of Gemini. Two Priestesses and two Priests wear white robes with blue stoles. The Priestesses wear gold crowns, the Priests high gold headdresses. Eight Companions wear white.
1st Priest: Companions on the quest for Intuition and Clear Minds, know that the constellation of the Dioscuri, the Twins, is depicted in the Denderah Zodiac of Ancient Egypt as the Lion God Shu, Bringer of flowing waters, and His twin the Lion Goddess Tefnut, Lady of Heaven. They are shown facing each other, holding hands. These Divine Twins were born of the Goddess Nebhet-hotep, Great in Magic, Wife to the God Atum of primaeval waters. The Lion Pair in their turn brought forth the Goddess Nuit of the starry sky, and the God Geb, of the earth. Isis and Osiris, sister and brother, were born of these, and the rest of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis, which includes Shu and Tefnut, Isis and Osiris, Ra, Geb, Nephthys, Horus and Hathor. The virtuous are revived through Tefnut: I have brought to him the Goddess Tefnut and he liveth! ‘The soul which dwelleth in Tefnut abideth in bliss in Her realm Beyond death.’ Thus to the Egyptians, Gemini was the House of Life here and in the next world. It was also the sphere of twin souls.
1st Priestess: (Northwest offers incense) I offer this incense to the Lion Goddess Tefnut. Divine Lady who upholdeth the Heavens, Woman and Lion, Bringer of pure steams, refresh us with Thy healing waters and bestow on us Thy Strength! Thou Who doth sit on the Judgement Seat of the dead, grant us true speech! Hail, Thy divine parents, Nebhet-hotep and Atum - Who cometh forth from the Great deep, and Who shineth with glory through your offspring, the Double Lion! Send out with might Your words unto those who are in Your Presence. May Truth and Judgement speak with an equal voice.
1st Priest: (Northeast, offers incense) I offer incense to Thee, the Lion God Shu, twin of Tefnut. Thou hast divided the sky from the earth, that all living creatures may dwell upon the earth and bring forth their kinds, both male and female. The double Divine Soul which dwelleth in the Divine Twin God and Goddess is the Soul which dwelleth in Shu and in Tefnut: and this is the Double Divine Soul which dwelleth in Tattu. Bring our souls to their land of everflowing streams and head-high wheat!
2nd Priest: The Greeks recognised their Moon Goddess Artemis as the Egyptian Goddess Tefnut. Artemis is twin to the God Phoebus Apollo, Divine offspring of Olympian Zeus and lovely Leto.
2nd Priestess: (Southwest, offers incense) I offer incense to Thee, the Goddess Artemis. Muse, sing of Artemis, Sister of the Archer, the Virgin Who delighteth in silver arrows, Who was fostered with Apollo. She doth water Her horses from Meles deep in reeds, and swiftly driveth Her all-golden chariot through Smyrna to vine-clad Claros, where Apollo, God of the silver bow, sits waiting for the Goddess. And so hail to Thee Artemis Who goeth to the Great House of Thy dear Brother, to the rich land of Delphi, there to order the lovely dance of the Muses and the Graces! There Thou doth hang Thy curved bow and arrows, and doth head the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all They utter their heavenly voices, singing of how neat-ankled Leto bore children supreme among the Immortals both in thought and deed. Hail to You, Children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto! May we receive with ecstasy Thy bright silver arrows, Divine Artemis for these are the shafts of Truth.
2nd Priest: (Southeast, offers incense) I offer incense to Thee, O Lord Apollo, God of the silver bow, shooting afar, walking on craggy Cynthus. Many are Thy Temples and wooded groves, and all peaks and towering crags of lofty mountains and rivers are dear to Thee, Phoebus. How then shall I sing of Thee Who are in all ways a worthy theme of song? For the whole range of song is fallen to Thee, both over the mainland that rears heifers and over the isles. Divine Apollo, grant us Thy gifts of prophecy and healing! But teach us to use Thy bringst arrows of Power with wisdom and gentleness. We shall dance in honour of the unshorn God and Artemis, and in honour of Leto, uttering a tuneful sound. Their praise will be furnished forth by women, and evermore by men.
1st Priest: The constellation of Gemini is source of the Miraculous 'St. Helens Lights'. The Twins preside over the after-life. The committed on earth are judged by one who passeth sentence stern and inevitable: while the good, having the sun shining for ever more, live in the presence of the Honoured Deities. All these were wont to rejoice keeping their oath and share a life that knoweth no tears. Whosoever, dwelling in either world, this or the next, have thrice been courageous in keeping their souls pure from all deeds of wrong, dwell in the Isles of the Blessed. There the ocean breezes blow and flowers of gold shine bright on the shore, growing on radiant trees, and others float on the waters. And the Blessed Souls entwine their hands to make chap lets of flowers. They are Blessed according to judgment of the mighty Father Zeus, Son of the Goddess Rhea, Whose Throne is exalted beyond all others.
1st Priestess: The soul progresseth through future ages. After death all receive their due reward, some in the realms of Shu and of Tefnut and others in Elysium, domain of Apollo and Artemis and the Muses and Graces. There dwell the spirits of the just who are purified and free from all taint of evil. The sun shineth in strength while on earth 'tis night; and in meadows red with roses, the space before their city is shaded by the incense tree, laden with golden fruits. Know that, while the body of all men is subject to over-mastering death, an image of Life remaineth alive. For the body alone is subject to over-mastering death. An image of life remaineth alive, for it alone cometh from the Deities. But it sleepeth, while the limbs are active: yet in many a dream it giveth presage of a decision of things delightful or doleful. Blessed are they who know of these things before they goeth beneath the hollow earth: for they understand the end of life, and the beginning of new life bestowed by Deity!
2nd Priest: Let us balance the forces of Gemini that harmony may come to our souls!
1st Companion: (North) I salute the Guardians of the Binary Star, Castor, once known to the Greeks as Apollo. Eques, Star of Horses, bring us strength and swift thought!
2nd Companion: (South) I salute the Guardians of the Star Pollux, orange Star of Artemis and Tefnut. May this lunar star bring us tranquillity.
3rd Companion: (West) I salute the white Star Almesan, the Proud Walker. Let us lift up our heads, sure of our goal!
4th Companion: (East) I salute the Guardians of Wesat, the Double Star, that hath in its train the Geminid meteors. Let us with humility appreciate the manifold gifts of others.
5th Companion: (Northwest) I salute the Guardians of the Double Star, Mebsuta, the outstretched Paw of the Lion Shu. May we grasp that which should be taken!
6th Companion: (Southwest) I salute the Guardians of the Star Mekbuda, the contracted paw of the Lion Goddess Tefnut. May we in our strength have compassion for the weak.
7th Companion: (Northeast) I salute the Guardians of Propus, the Binary Star which marks the turn of the sun at the summer solstice - the Forward Foot. May we courageously press onwards.
8th Companion: (Southeast) I salute the Guardians of Nuhatai, the Double Star, yellow and blue, that is the Backward Heel. Give us the wisdom of knowing when to retreat!
1st Priest: Understanding is brought into being through the union of qualities, seeing the other as oneself. So is Gemini ruled by Mercury of the two intertwined snakes. The outer mind that thinks and divides into quantities is given by the God: the lightning arrow of Intuition is sent forth by the Goddess. Let us receive inspiration with serene minds.
1st Priestess: (holds hands over water) May this water be blessed by Artemis with Her silver arrows of Light.
Music. Bach, Mozart, or Kay Gardner’s "The Rainbow Path" are suitable.
1st Priestess: (anoints each brow with these words) Receive the light of inspiration from Artemis!
2nd Priest: With still minds and inner grace let us harken to the words of Socrates, the noble philosopher, who spoke thus to his friends while awaiting execution by poison in prison: ‘Those who have been pre-eminent for holiness of life are released from this earthly prison, and go to their Home which is above, and dwell in a purer earth. And of these, such as have duly purified themselves with philosophy live henceforth altogether without the body, in mansions fairer still, which may not be described, and of which the time would fail me to tell... Wherefore what ought we to do that we may obtain virtue and wisdom in this life? Fair is the prize and the hope is great!
2nd Priestess: What is life without love, be it ever so philosophical! Rejoice in the words of Aristophanes who praises Love, as recounted by his friend Plato: ‘Humanity through its sins was divided into two halves who endlessly seek each other. When a Soul meets with its other half, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship - and one will not be out of the other's sight, not even for a moment: These are the people who pass their whole lives together: yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lovers' intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires yet only has a dark and doubtful presentiment. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love. There was a time, I say, when we were one, but because of the wickedness of mankind Deity hath dispersed us. Wherefore let us exhort all men to piety that we may avoid evil and obtain the good, of which Love is the ruler and minister. And let no one oppose Love - he who opposes Love is the enemy of Deity. For if we are friends of Eros and His Mother Venus we are at peace with these Deities. So shall we find our own true loves, which rarely happens at present. If our loves were perfectly accomplished, and each one were returned to his primeval nature and were to find his original true love, then our race would be happy!
1st Priestess: Let us weave the radiations of Gemini, Soul and Body, Lover and Beloved, into blissful harmony, with stately measure.
Music. "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" by Gluck, is relevant. Dance is in Greek style, with hands lightly held and lifted high. White, silver and blue colours may be seen blending round the dancers and silver power may be experienced like soft silver arrows about the head.
1st Priestess: (holds aloft star map of Gemini) Companions, let us meditate upon the constellations of Gemini. Castor and Pollux are in verity far from each other; yet the constellation holds many twins. Gemini, Guide of Mariners, rises high above the sea of heaven. Far above Auriga, the Charioteer, drives the Great Wain about the Pole Star. The Twins shine among many animals, the lynx, the unicorn, the lesser dog. Gemini rises beyond the reach of the creatures of the abyss, Hydra and Cetus. It is the constellation of the Mind and Spirit which through Hermetic alchemy unites the realms of this life and the next, and draws together twin souls.
Ideas are exchanged. Beneficent thoughts and healing are sent forth through rays of visualized white light.
1st Priest: Let us give thanks to Shu and to Tefnut: to Artemis and to Apollo.
Sources: "The Book of the Dead" by E. A. Wallis Budge, published by Routledge & Kegan Paul. "Goddesses of China, Syria and Egypt" by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara Publications, "Hesiod", translated by Evelyn-White, Heinemann, Harvard. "The Odes of Pindar" translated by Sandys, Heinemann, Harvard. "Five Great Dialogues" Plato, translated by Jowett, published by Walter Black, New York.
Note: "Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning," Richard Hinckley Allen, Dover Publications, New York, first pub. 1899. "Juno Covella, Perpetual Calendar of the Fellowship of Isis", Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara Publications, and Philips’ Planisphere were used for each Rite.
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