Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess
Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson
Part III. Planetary Magic
Magic of Saturn and Astarte
Ritual no. 10
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ASTARTE
Priestess: (Invocation) We offer incense to Thee, Astarte, Queen of Heaven. O Virgin of the Sea, Blessed Mother and Lady of the Waters, stay the waves of adversity! Goddess of the Moon bring us to know Thy Mysteries. Beautiful Lady, Goddess of Love, without Thee the cruelties of life, the tedious work, the harshness of changing time, bring us to despair. Who may live joyfully without hope of a spiritual life to be enjoyed beyond the confines of the severe laws of this material world? Aid us to reach Thy Heaven, now and beyond the grave.
Oracle: You children of earth deplore the severities of Saturn, whose Golden Age sprang from justice rather than compassion: from the sciences rather than the arts: and from the riches of the material world rather than the angelic beauty of visions. You invoke me as you invoke sleep, weary from struggles and suffering - in the hope of receiving dreams more lovely than earthly life. And I welcome you to my realm! Yet to reach it you need to study and to work: to see My face behind the veil you have to learn to obey the rigorous laws of My Husband Saturn.
Know that I am the Goddess Ashtoreth, the hidden Shekinah of Jehovah. Who dares gaze upon She who, guarded by Him, may neither be called by Her Inner Name, nor seen by impious men? Know that I am the Hidden Power behind the God of cause and effect: of law and time: I am His concealed joy and reward and His everlasting love. When you have learned to obey the outer laws guarded by the God, naturally you will mature and be brought to understand My Mysteries, that are only to be experienced by those ready to receive them.
Beware! There are those who think that, discovering My psychic Powers they may with impunity break the outer laws that bind others. These should remember the fate of Icarus, who tried to reach My Heaven with artificial wings held together with wax - which melted as he flew too near the sun. And so he fell as have many others. For truly you cannot reach My starry Heaven without Love and the Law. Love brings you the entry to My sphere: but Wisdom gives you the ability to stay there. Ambitious seekers may find themselves in Heaven: but without love or law they cannot see, hear, think or feel in a divine sphere beyond their capacity of enjoyment. And so they say there is nothing there and are disillusioned. So they bar the way to their return to heaven, and prevent others from making the attempt. So if you would find Me, use both the imagination and the intellect: love and the law: creativity and loyal endurance. So will you be holy, and be able to accept My psychic gifts with both hands.
A black draped altar has upon it a hexagram, centre, a black veiled crystal left, a Pentagram in yellow, right. Magician wears high black and yellow headdress, black and white robes with insignia of planet Saturn, and holds black and yellow striped wand. Enchantress wears silver moon crown, black and silver robes with moon insignia and holds silver wand. Men Practitioners are attired similar to Magician: Women to Enchantress.
Magician and Enchantress face North. Magician makes sign of Saturn with staff.
Magician: I hail Mighty God Saturn of the ringed orb, Bringer of Justice and Balance, of Logic, Clear Mind and Skilled Hand. Powerful Cronos with Thy reaping scythe Thou dost end the span of mortal existence: and doth measure the span of Thy five Ages. Thou Who art reborn as an innocent Child at the stroke of Midnight and mid-winter: Bring us earthly wisdom and the knowledge of all sciences. Let us understand numbers and the laws of cause and effect: give us calculation of consequences: help us to understand Thy commandments of honesty and intelligence: and give us the means of obeying them through toil and study.
Enchantress: (makes sign of the Moon with her wand) I invoke The Goddess Astarte. Divine Goddess of the Moon, Phoenician wife of Cronos, Who wealdeth the tides of ages and of birth and death: Goddess of the Cones of Power from which are born both galaxies and stars and planets, be with us. For from Thee were brought to birth the Titanides, and we turn to Thee as Mother of the Deities and of ourselves. Bless us, as Thou, Oh Ashtorteth, blessed Solomon the Wise, who built for Thee a High Place in Jerusalem. Thy wisdom is of the inner mysteries, and this knowledge is lost to us, orphaned as we are of the Great Mother. Save us and all life lest we perish from the earth.
Magician: Fellow practitioners, we invoke these great Deities that we may practice the ceremonial magic of the Planet Saturn, bringing the left side of our brains which is ruled by Saturn, into accord with the right part of our brains which belongs to Astarte. For of Saturn is the Right Hand and the Right Way, and of Astarte is the Left Hand and the Left way. For we work with our right hands and create mighty cities, but our left hands are weak for we ignore our hearts which are of the left side of our bodies; Saturn is on the straight path and teaches the intellectual analysis of the Five senses, so to Him belongs this pentagram.
Enchantress: Astarte is of the curve and knows no straightness. Hers is the twist of the spiral and the crooked smile: the Half-veiled face: the laugh that has no reason, but laughs. In perfect conjunction, these twain show forth the Hexamgram: Saturn with triangle with point upwards, and Astarte With point downwards. She uses the reversed pentagram. He loves the colours black, white and yellow: She, black and silver. When these Deities are divorced, our world is destroyed by rancour and loss of balance. When They are joined in marriage, intellect and intuition bring peace and wisdom.
Magician: Let a Neophyte stand forth who will undergo the trials of Saturn and Astarte.
Participant: I offer to undergo the trials, that all may learn.
Magician: These trials are not of earthly strength, but rather seek to develop and harmonise both mind and the psyche in perfect balance. So be you King Oedipus of Grecian Thebes and answer five questions.
Five Participants place themselves in the form of a pentagram around the neophyte.
1st Participant: Hear the first riddle. This comes from The Golden Age. First from heavenly Olympus came Saturn. He gathered together the unruly race of men, scattered over mountain heights, and gave them laws. Under his reign were the golden ages men tell of: in such perfect peace ruled the nations; till little by little there crept in a worse race of duller hue, with frenzy of war, and passion for gain. To one of these men, Oedipus, there came the Sphinx, who gave him this very riddle I now give you: “What is it that goes upon four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and at eventide upon three legs, and speaks with the one voice throughout?”
Neophyte: Clear is the answer to my mind: Evolving Man. Firstly man crawls upon the land as reptile and animal: next he stands on two legs as Homo Sapiens. Finally he grasps the Spear of Destiny, his magical implement, upon which he leans for his security. His even voice is his clear mind.
Magician: A clever answer. Oedipus did no worse. Yet he perished miserably from his blindness.
Neophyte: Unveil the crystal for me that I may see what is concealed in darkness.
Enchantress unveils crystal.
Neophyte: I see! The Sphinx is winged and is a woman! She speaks - unlike man with the one voice throughout her life. The true answer is: The Winged Goddess, She Who will be. For Her animal body is Her past, and Her woman's body Her present, but the wings are of Her soul. So may it be with us all, that the Golden Age may return in its cycle.
2nd Practitioner: When the noble spirits of the Golden Age were supplanted, they became Guardians of mortal men, kindly and delivering from harm: for they roam everywhere on earth, clothed in mist and keep watch. And they protected a third race. For They that dwelt on Olympus brought forth a generation of Silver. And these were of an innocent and childish disposition and stayed with their Mothers a hundred years before maturity. Hear the riddle of the Silver Child: “Not too high, hot too low: Not too quick, not too slow. Twist the rope, mark the beat, use both hands: watch your feet! Not too small, not too great! Guess my name and know your Fate.”
Neophyte: The answer is: The Golden Mean, the Middle Way. Yet there may be some other meaning behind such apparent simplicity. (gazes into crystal.) Now I can guess the name. It is The Child. it is myself. For as a child, I relate all to myself, for I am always right! It is all I know. The breadth and the length and the height I measure by my own growth. To grow well, I need to look beyond myself! For each when spiritually young is the centre of his own universe. The Mother has the child Within herself. So she accepts the reality of another being. But the child does not comprehend the Mother.
3rd Practitioner: Harken to the third riddle. Zeus the son of Cronos reared a third race of men of the Age of Bronze. And these were separated from the Goddess, their true mother and bore no likeness at all to the gentle beings of Silver Age. They were hero-men who called themselves demi-gods, and were the race before our own. Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, in the land of Cadmus and seven gated Thebes, and some at Troy for rich-haired Helen's sake; and there death's end enshrouded part of them. Hear their riddle: “In the mighty Temple of Troy enshrined in the Holy of Holies was the Palladium. This statue of the Goddess, which could flash fire from Her eyes and move, was called the Luck of Troy and while the Trojans held it, the city was safe. But cunning Odysseus, guided by Athena and by Helen of the white arms, stole the Palladium for Hellas.” And so the God-like Aryans conquered Troy. Yet Listen well. A secret teaching tells that the Greeks stole but a replica; that the pious Aeneas, son of Aphrodite, rescued the real Palladium, which from him came to Rome. There it was guarded by the Vestal Virgins in secrecy, in the Temple of Vesta. And from the Palladium came all the might of Rome. Now answer: Where is the Palladium?
Neophyte: Plain is the answer to a philosopher. Pallas Athena is Goddess of Wisdom. The Trojans lost power through lack of wisdom, and so the wise Odysseus brought this knowledge to Greece. But Greece in her turn, torn by dissension, was conquered by the Romans, wise in government. The Palladium represents wisdom of government and is with those who practice this. Yet I sense that there is a mystery in this and I would know more. (gazes into crystal) I see a radiating carved stone animated by the pure spirit of a beautiful Being, with plumes of light pouring from Her head and with a spear of light in Her hand. The statue forms a bond between humans and Deity, radiating Divine Wisdom. When the stone is lost through folly, those more worthy of it gains its power, until they in their turn stray in the paths of foolishness. The Palladium is buried, until a wiser generation unearths it.
4th Participant: Harken to the riddle of the fourth age now drawing to its end. For now truly is an age of iron, and men never rest from labour and sorrow by day, and from perishing by night; and the gods shall lay sore trouble upon us. And Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men when they come to have grey hair on the temples at their birth. Envy, foul-mouthed, delighting in evil, will go alone with wretched men one and all, and bitter sorrow will be left for mortal men, and there will be no help against evil. Hear our riddle: Adonis, beloved of Astarte, all innocent, is seized by wicked men. He is held hostage. They will either kill Adonis, or destroy a great city. Which is to be sacrificed: this one man, or a city?
Neophyte: The answer is plain. Adonis must die. For the greatest good of the greatest number of people matters more than one life. A great city is the finest work of Man. Yet, this answer is not entirely agreeable to me.
Neophyte gazes into the crystal.
Neophyte: Now I know! It is upon this one young man, beloved of Astarte, that the fate of the city depends! For without these two lovers the city will be bereft of honour and courage. Let Adonis live, may Astarte rejoice and She will save the city through Her Almighty Power.
Magician: The four Ages of Cronos are at an end.
Music. “Thus Spake Zarathustra” Richard Strauss, Holst’s “Planets” or Stockhausen’s “Sirius” are suitable.
5th Practitioner: Harken to the prophecy of Merlin. This comes from the coming Fifth Age of Space. “A man shall grasp the lion within the earth, and the brightness of gold shall blind the eyes of those who behold it. Silver shall be of brilliant whiteness upon the circumference and shall disturb the different wine-presses. Mortals shall be drunk with the wine set forth for them and from a deferred heaven shall look back upon the earth. Their stern faces shall turn to the stars which shall confound their usual course. Roots and branches shall change place and the newness of the world shall be a miracle.
The brilliance of the Sun shall be tarnished by Mercury's alloy and there shall be dread among those who investigate. Stilbon of Arcadia shall change the disc of the sun. The helmet of Mars shall call for Venus. The madness of Mercury shall pass all bounds. Jupiter shall forsake his lawful paths, and Venus shall desert the lines appointed for her. The ill will of Saturn shall subside, and it shall hinder mortals with a crooked sickle. The twelve houses of stars shall deplore the transition of their quests. Gemini shall forego their accustomed embrace and shall call the urn to the fountains. The scales of Libra shall hang obliquely until Aries shall put his curved horns under them. The tail of Scorpio shall produce lightnings, and Cancer shall quarrel with the Sun.
Virgo shall mount the back of Sagittarius and dim the flower of her virginity. The chariot of the Moon shall disturb the Zodiac and the Pleiades break forth into weeping. Hereafter the office of Janus shall never return, but his gates shall lie hid in of Ariadne's crown. The waters shall rise at the interstices stroke of a wand and the labour of the ancients be recreated. The winds shall strive together with an awful blast and shall make their sound among the stars.” What does this mean?
Neophyte: It would appear to my mind that this is an astrological reading for the future which would require a correctly delineated map that a forecast may be given. Yet the imagery is so powerful there may be another meaning.
Neophyte gazes into crystal.
Neophyte: What do I see? The fatal fire within the earth is unleashed by man's folly and both earth and moon are drawn away from their orbits. So though no human eyes may see it, the constellations appear to change, but in verity it is the earth itself that changes her course and not the heavens.
Magician: In your mind Saturn is now in true marriage with Astarte. Let the Neophyte speak the words of all occult Initiates.
Enchantress: (to Neophyte) Place your right hand upon the Pentagram and your left hand upon the crystal and say these words: ‘My Father is God of the Occult Sciences: My Mother is Goddess of the Mysteries.’
Neophyte does so.
Enchantress: Let us all make this affirmation.
Omnes do this. Silvery power through head and body may be experienced and white light seen in globe form over altar.
Magician: Let us meditate upon the union of Saturn and Astarte that our minds may understand and our souls be awakened.
Reports are shared.
Magician: Thanks are given to the God Saturn and the Goddess Astarte for knowledge and intuition.
Sources: "Hesiod, Homeric Hymns and the Homerica", trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, William Heinemann Ltd., London. "The Library", Apollodorus, trans. James G. Frazer, Loeb Classical Library, Vols. 121-122. "Sanchoniathon", Lemprier’s Classical Dictionary. "The Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt", Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara. "Prophetia Anglicana", Merlini Ambrosil Britanni, Frankfort (Joachim Bratheringij, 1503).
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