Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess
Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson
Part I. Cosmic Magic
Ritual no. 2
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS NEITH
Oracle: Do not bargain with the Deities! You cannot deceive Truth but rather your own selves! Be honest. You know not why you seek occult knowledge, but seek it you must, with an unquenchable longing! You serve My Divine Purpose in any case, whether you do ill or well: for if you do ill, the Deities transform the ill to good: and if you do well, it is the same for the Purpose but pleasanter for yourself.
It is usual for humans to pursue Love with pride: and to treat Truth with humility. For Love shows so lovely a face that all fly into Her arms. Yet to do so is to court destruction from consuming passion. But Truth is believed to be so hideous that She is seen as a Gorgon's head entwined with venomous serpents, and so much be avoided at all costs! It is regarded as safer to prostrate before the veiled Goddess, rather than to lift Her Veil. Many fear the fate of Oedipus, who gave the factual answer to the Sphinx's riddle, not knowing the true meaning, and so perished from his own ignorance.
I am amused that you should ask Me to lift My veil; and because I am entertained I shall do so, according to your true need, but not for the satisfaction of your curiosity which you dignify with the name of science. For wit is My prerogative and humour is My salt. The shock when I lift My veil often brings laughter more than the tears induced by Love. And you fear laughter, when it is directed against yourself. It is to be reduced to your relevant size, your true degree. And this in one second kills self-deluded dreams of your importance in relation to others, your high stature that diminishes your rivals.
However, do not fear. Only fear self-deception. For in reality Truth bears the most beautiful face of all the Deities. When you gaze into My mirror you may first see the Gorgon's Head of your follies: but through this mask you will with the eye of discernment see your own immortal beauty. And so you will also see the immortal beauty hidden in all beings.
Ceremonial Time Magic
Let there be a centre altar draped in black cloth. Upon it let there be three lighted white candles, burning incense, a sand hour-glass, and a pendulum. By the altar let there be a “spindle” or wound thread, a gong and a pitcher of water. The circle of the temple is marked with the zodiacal signs, set in the Aquarian mode of the new era, Aquarius in the east, Scorpio in the North, Leo in the West and Taurus in the South. Enchantresses with veiled faces wear garlands on their head and are robed in white. 1st Enchantress holds a gold sickle. 8 companions are robed in violet. Enchantresses stand facing each candle on altar. Magicians stand at the 4 quarters. 1st Magician at Aquarius, the other 3 right to left. Participants stand at the other zodiac signs.
1st Enchantress: Let the Cosmic Clock strike twelve, as the old era dies giving birth to the new dispensation.
1st Magician: (strikes gong twelve times) Companions on the Quest for All-Time, we are gathered together in this Holy Temple to call upon the Star Deities, that they may aid us to gain the harvest of the past, and through the gateway of the present, know our Destiny. So may we enact our true roles in the Divine Plan.
1st Enchantress: Destiny unfolds itself through cycles. Let the Star Deities be invoked through their Houses, moving through the sidereal cycle of the Equinox Precession.
2nd Enchantress: (takes burning incense round the circle left to right) We offer incense to the Immortal Deities of the Stars. May They bless the Work.
1st Magician: (holds aloft the sickle) In the House of Aquarius in the East I invoke Mnemosyne. Mnemosyne of the Beautiful Hair, Sister to Cronos, Mother of the gold-crowned Muses, bring us Thy Memory of things past.
1st Companion: In the House of Capricorn I invoke the God Poseidon. I sing of Poseidon, the great God of the fruitful sea, God of the deep. Hail, Poseidon, Holder of the earth, dark-haired one! Consort of Cleito, thou who with Her didst rule Atlantis, bring us knowledge from the Depths of past ages.
2nd Companion: In the House of Sagittarius I invoke Saturn. Thy Golden Age came first, which without any Avenger, or the constraint of Law, of its own accord practiced Faith and Justice. Fear and punishment were yet unknown. Nations peaceable and secure, lived in lofty tranquillity. Men contented with the food which Mother Nature freely gave, gathered the fruit of the strawberry-bush, and the wildlings growing on mountains, and the acorns that fell from the spreading oak of Jove. The earth, unplowed, yielded crops of white grain. Now is come the last age of the song of Cumae, the Sybil: Now the Virgin returns: now a new generation descends from heaven on high.
2nd Magician: (receives sickle from 1st Magician, holds it aloft) In the House of Scorpio in the North I invoke Selket. Not enough, Divine Goddess, is it for us to drink of memories' fount. With the bite of Thy fiery scorpions we would awaken Thy Inner Flame of Life. May we live again the past so that it becomes the Present. So we, Thy children shall know our immortality.
3rd Companion: In the House of Libra I invoke Janus. As we stand upon the threshold of past and future, we invoke the Watcher on the Threshold. Janus, who with Thy two Faces look upon the past and upon that which is to be, give us the wisdom to choose wisely.
4th Companion: In the House of Virgo I invoke Parvati-Kali. Two-fold Goddess who art Mistress of time. Thou art Ruler of both ages, for Kali of the vanishing Yuga giveth birth to Parvati, beautiful Goddess of Compassion.
3rd Magician: (receives sickle and holds it aloft) In the House of Lee in the West I invoke Cronos. Thou art Consort of Rhea, who with Her Art ruled the Titans. Bring us the Wisdom of the cycles. For that which was shall be; and the future is shaped from the past. Through understanding may we transform knowledge into wisdom.
5th Companion: In the House of Cancer I invoke Neith. Goddess of Atlantis, We dare not have the impiety to lift Thy Veil. Of Thy Grace lift it for us if this be our Destiny.
6th Companion: In the House of Gemini I invoke the Goddess Pytho. Holy Python Goddess, who through Thy Pythoness gave prophecies at Delphi, bring us Thy Life through Thy snake's bite, that we may learn to enjoy our future lives even as we dwell in the present. For this is life eternal: to experience past, present and future as one whole.
4th Magician: (receives sickle and holds it aloft) In the House of Taurus in the South I invoke Phoebus Apollo. It is not enough to live and enjoy: we need to know. Bright Sun of Hellas, bring us the art of withdrawing from passing Time so that, safe upon the hub of the wheel, we may watch the passing ages, and like Thee know our eternal Self. So may we escape the fate of Cassandra who had knowledge but was trapped by Nemesis. Bring us the calm of the Immortals.
7th Companion: In the House of Aries I invoke Astraea. Her men called Justice. Of old She dwelt upon the earth, nor ever disdained in olden time the tribes of men and women, but mingling with them, took her seat, immortal though She was. She uttered Her voice, ever urging judgements kinder to the people. Justice Herself, Queen of the peoples, giver of things just, abundantly supplied every need. Ever so long as the earth still nurtured the Golden Race, She had Her dwelling on earth. She left the earth when men forged weapons for fateful strife, and ate the patient ox. Only do Thou now, Astraea, pure Lucina, smile on the birth of the child, under whom the iron brood shall cease, and a new Golden Race spring up throughout the world.
8th Companion: In the House of Pisces I invoke Brahma. The Mighty Kalpas of Brahma that holds millions of years fills us with awe and reverence. Too great are such aeons for human mind to encompass. So do we turn to his Consort the Goddess Sarasvati, who brings the greatest aeon in harmony with the shortest heart beat, through Her Divine Music. To her the life of a Gnat is as precious as the Deity: so we may all join in Her Song of Creation.
1st Magician: Let us move to the Measure of Time upon the Spindle of the Cycles.
Music throughout rest of rite. Berlioz’s “Childe Harold,” Sibelius’ “1st Symphony,” or “Swan of Tuenela,” Borodin’s “4th Symphony” or Richard Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben” are suitable.
3 Enchantresses, lightly touching fingertips, circle round altar, right to left. 4th Magician and 8 Companions circle round Zodiac left to right, sidereal mode.
1st Magician: (at end of dance) Even the Deities obey The Fates, under whose aegis all beings live their allotted span of many existances. The Three Norns spin Past, Present and Future as They sit beneath the Ash-Tree Yggdrasil. Let us offer reverence to the Norns.
1st Enchantress: The Norns may not be invoked, for Their Holiness is beyond the Manifest. Veneration alone is necessary to receive Their Aid.
1st Enchantress lights first candle. 2nd Enchantress lights second candle. 3rd Enchantress lights third candle.
3rd Enchantress: May the words of the Philosopher Plato be given that we may duly honour the Fates.
1st Magician: “At equal distances sit Three Figures, each on a Throne. These are the Three Fates, Daughters of Necessity: Lachesis, Clotho and Atropos. Their robes are white, their heads are garlanded, and They sing to the music of the sirens. Lachesis sings of things past, Clotho of things present, Atropos of things to come. And Clotho from time to time takes hold of the outermost rim of the spindle and helps to turn it, in the same way Atropos turns the inner rims with her left hand, while Lachesis takes inner and outer rims with her left and right hand alternately.
As Magician speaks three Enchantresses follow with hand movements with spindle, handing it to each other.
On their arrival in the next life, souls go before Lachesis and they are told “This is the word of Lachesis: Souls of a day, here you must begin another round of mortal life. No Guardian Angel will be allotted to you; you must choose your own. Goodness knows no master. A man shall have more or less of her, the angel, according to the value he sets on her. Faults lie not with the Deities but with the soul that makes the choice.”
2nd Magician: And when all the souls make their choice they are led to Atropos who presents them with their lot in the new life: and after saluting Her they are led to Clotho who by spinning made the threads of each destiny irreversible.
As these words are read, Companions pass before Enchantresses in turn and touch the spindle.
1st Enchantress: Know that each soul drinks of the waters of Lethe so that all memory is lost of life before earthly existence. But now we do not drink of this water. Rather do we pray the Fates that we may be granted memories of where we have come from and of our former lives. May the knell of the Dark Half of the Cycle be sounded.
1st Magician strikes gong six times. 3rd Enchantress reverses sand hourglass. She brings incense round circle to all present, left to right.
3rd Enchantress: May this incense bring you memory of the hidden past.
1st Enchantress: Companions, be seated in a circle, each in your place on the perimeter of the Starry Clock. (She holds up swinging pendulum, slowing it.) Behold the movement of Time! Shut your eyes. Feel yourselves moving backwards. You sink into a waking sleep. You hear the faint sound of a gong and you know it is your heartbeats. These grow slower and slower. The pendulum swings slower and slower . . . Backwards through time, you become a child, an infant. You look upon your infant body. You see an ancient silver mirror, spotted and old. It is veiled with dust. You look into it . . . You enter it . . . and in silence make your way on your appointed path, knowing that you will return when you are called by the voice of the Enchantress.
Contemplation of Things Past
1st Enchantress: Hear the Voice of the Enchantress! It is now time to return from the past through the Mirror of the Present. Pass through the mirror and return to the Temple from whence you stepped forth, bringing with your harvest of experience.
Companions share reports of experiences.
1st Enchantress: We pray the Fates that we may be granted visions of Things to Come. May the knell of the Bright Half of the Cycle be sounded.
2nd Magician strikes gong six times. 3rd Enchantress reverses sand hourglass. She brings pitcher of water to all present, who themselves place water on their foreheads.
3rd Enchantress: May this water bring you visions of things to come.
2nd Enchantress holds swinging pendulum increasing speed.
2nd Enchantress: Behold the movement of Time. Shut your eyes. Feel yourselves moving forwards. You sink into a waking sleep. You hear the faint sound of a gong and you know it is your heart-beats. These grow faster and faster. The pendulum swings quicker and quicker . . . Forwards through time, you become old, you are dying. You look down upon your dying body. You rise above it. Above you is a particular constellation, your home. You gaze upon it and mark its form and the colour of the stars . . . you enter into it . . . and in silence make your way on your appointed path knowing that you will return when you are called by the Voice of the Enchantress.
Contemplation of the Future
2nd Enchantress: Hear the Voice of the Enchantress! It is now time to return from the future through your constellation. Return to the Temple from whence you stepped forth, bringing with you visions of Things to come.
Companions share reports of visions and prophecies. All rise.
1st Magician: We are children of The Immortal Deities whose attributes are Love, Beauty and Truth. Let us send forth Good to all beings.
All hold up their hands to radiate good.
1st Magician: We give Thanks to the Three Fates and to the Star Deities.
Sources: "The Republic", Plato. "Metamorphoses", Ovid. Callimachus. Lycophron. Aratus. "The Eclogues, Georgics and Aeneid", Virgil, Oxford University Press, London, 1974. "Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica", trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, William Heinemann Ltd. London. "Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable", Ebenezer Brewer, first published between 1868 - 1870 by Cassel in London, now in it’s 14th edition, many editions available.
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