Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess
Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson
Part III. Planetary Magic
Magic of Venus and Vishnu
Ritual no. 7
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS VENUS
Flower of the foam, rise from the bitter sea.
Hear the invoking words, hear and appear
Isis unveiled, and Rhea, Binah, Ge!
I am Thy priestess, answer unto me."
Oracle: The time has come when true marriage is being manifested on earth. Until now, men have depended emotionally upon their mother, and have dominated over their wives and children. The patriarch has retained earthly rulership entirely for himself; but has surrendered the domain of the emotions to his mother. So men have dominated the world through military and political power, wielded through use of technology, from sword to gun and bomb. But behind the scenes the mothers have ruled their sons' hearts, and kept them emotionally childish, and have chosen their wives for them. And the veil that concealed their hidden power was superstitious ignorance. This was understandable in past ages, when humanity was at a childish level. But now a catastrophic stage has been reached.
The development of scientific technology has outstripped emotional development. It is as if children in a nursery during a fight had discovered a loaded pistol! Through the ages the Deities have watched and sometimes aided the free development of human consciousness, in relation also to other life forms. We have occasionally projected symbolic Mystery Dramas, using willing actors and actresses on the earthly arena. For to the Deities this world is a shadow of reality, a story woven on the loom of time and space. To help each progressive stage, differing Dramas have been given. Deities are the parents of all beings on earth and, in humanity's childhood, the story of sorrowing Mother and slaughtered Son was enacted.
The myths of Cybele and Attis, of Venus and Adonis, of Mary and Jesus, taught through catharsis. Those who felt the tragedy in their hearts saw the wickedness of wars and persecutions. This is the education of the heart, to instill good emotion through empathy. Now new mysteries are being presented by the Deities so take heart. Humanity has, after an unduly protracted childhood, reached adolescence. Art and Nature are at last properly respected. Dreams of twin-souls, of ideal marriages of God and Goddess, Knight and Princess, are awakening in many souls not as fairy-tales, but as possibilities. Visionaries are gazing upon the twin-stars of Sirius, and meditating upon star-ships and of the ideal marriage of Isis and Osiris.
I come when you invoke Me, rising from the sea of the galaxy. I am the morning and evening star, and I am the Milky Way for from my breasts sprang your universe. I am within all beings so I am shown as a woman surrounded by winged children. Ideal unions of Goddess and God, woman and man, animal with animal, produce creativity.
On the central altar draped with orange cloth let there be a clay pot of burning charcoal and an incense pot, a shell, a discus, a mace and a lotus or white flower. Before the altar is a bow. Magician and Enchantress wear orange robes and golden mitres and the Enchantress wears many-coloured necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets and anklets. Candidates wear scarlet and saffron yellow robes and garlands. 12 Practitioners are robed in orange. 1st Practitioner strikes gong to the left of altar, twice.
Candidate: These manifestations may be works of art, new ideas - a reborn better humanity. All creative unions are divinely ordained, a reflection of the Divine Marriage of Lakshmi-Venus and her Husband Vishnu-Eros.
1st Practitioner strikes gong twice.
Magician: Fellow seekers for love and beauty, we are assembled to practice the magic of creative Love through the second planet Venus.
Enchantress throws incense upon the fire. With the mace she makes the sign of Venus over the altar.
Enchantress: Beautiful Goddess Venus, I invoke Thee! I offer Thee this incense, in token of our adoration. Mother of Aeneas and his race, delight of men and Gods, life-giving Venus, it is Thy doing that under the wheeling constellations of the sky all nature teems with life. Through Thee all living creatures are conceived and come forth to look upon the sunlight. Before Thee the winds flee, and at Thy coming the clouds forsake the sky. For Thee the inventive earth flingeth up sweet flower. For Thee the ocean levels laugh, the sky is calmed and gloweth with diffused radiance. When first the day putteth on the aspect of spring, when in all its force the fertilizing breath of Zephyr is unleashed, then Great Goddess, the birds of the air give the first intimation of Thy entry; for Thine is the power that hath pierced them to the heart. Next the cattle run wild, frisk through the lush pastures and swim the swift-flowing streams. Spell-bound by Thy charms, they follow Thy lead with fierce desire. Into the breasts of one and all Thou dost instill alluring love.
Magician: Since Thou alone art the guiding power of the universe and without Thee nothing can emerge into the shining sunlit world to grow in joy and loveliness, Thine is the partnership we seek. Grant that this brutal business of war by sea and land may everywhere be lulled to rest. For Thou alone hath power to bestow on mortals the blessing of quiet peace. Such was the Hymn of Lucretius.
Enchantress: Hear the words of the Sage Ptolemy on the planet Venus. “If Venus alone taketh the domination of the soul, in an honourable position she maketh Her subjects pleasant, good, luxurious, eloquent, neat, cheerful, fond of dancing, eager for beauty, hate of evil, lovers of the arts, fond of spectacles, decorous, healthy, dreamers of pleasant dreams, affectionate, beneficent, compassionate, fastidious, easily conciliated, successful and in general, charming.”
Magician: That we may best draw unto ourselves the gifts of the Goddess Venus, we need to look deeply into that creative love which changes shape through countless aeons, moulded, framed, varied, yet all through the act of love. Who will play the roles of Bride and Bridegroom, that we may uncover the secrets of rebirth?
Man and Woman Practitioners stand forward.
Magician: Know that the mystery of reincarnation has long been cherished in India. Lakshmi, Goddess of Good Fortune and Love, is Sister of Venus. She was born from an ocean of milk, bearing a lotus.
Enchantress holds forth the lotus.
Enchantress: (offers incense) I invoke the Goddess Lakshmi. Thou who art known as Mother of the world, aid us with Thy love. Four-armed golden Goddess, inspire this daughter to enact the Bride. I offer this incense.
Magician: (offers incense) With Thee upon a golden lotus is Thy husband Vishnu. Vishnu, second God of the Trinity, the Preserver, who with Thy Four Arms of the Elements holdeth conch, discus, mace and lotus, be with us. God of the Bow, I invoke Thee. Born on the wings of the bird Garuda with Lakshmi by Thy side, bring us creativity and life through changing forms. Aid this Thy son to enact the Bridegroom. I offer Thee this incense.
Bridegroom and Bride stand by altar with Magician and Enchantress.
Magician: It is the nature of the Bridegroom to love the Many. Yet in doing so he finds the One.
Enchantress: It is the nature of the Bride to seek only the One Yet in doing so she learns to love the Many.
Magician: The Dance of Venus is the search for love. The Bridegroom conceals himself in myriad forms, and adores many, that he may enjoy the Divine Play.
Enchantress: Determined to claim her husband, the Bride searches for him. To do so, she is forced to assume as many disguises as he does. But for her this is no play. It is the Dance of Creation.
Magician draws hood over face of Bridegroom and leads him outside the circle: Enchantress veils the Bride’s face so she cannot see. Then she turns (the Bride) round 3 times, left to right.
Enchantress: Now through love's power alone, find thy husband!
Practitioners slowly move round in a circle, left to right.
Music. Indian traditional ragas are suitable, or Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ Suite, Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony.
Enchantress leads Bride to 1st Practitioner. She touches him.
Bride: What or who are you?
1st Practitioner: My name is Matsya born of the Mother of All. I am a small golden fish with one horn. I am the 7th Manu, and through my horn, which is 40 million miles long, I predicted the Deluge. I saved the human race by rescuing the Sage Vaivaswata. I taught him to allow his ship to descend slowly with the waters, rather than to allow it to rest on the Himalayan peaks. Also I taught of the eternal nature of the soul.
Bride: There is something familiar about this small gold fish with his deep ideas. He is my husband! We were reborn through our progeny. What became of us?
Enchantress leads Bride to 2nd Practitioner, who touches him.
Bride: Who or what are you?
2nd Practitioner: I am a Tortoise, but no ordinary one! I helped to save the Ocean of Milk which bore the fourteen treasures, among which were the White Elephant, the Cow of Plenty and the Goddess Lakshmi.
Bride: I recognise this generosity. You are my husband. I joined you and we were reborn. But how and where?
Enchantress leads her to 3rd Practitioner, whom she touches.
Bride: Who are you?
3rd Practitioner: No less than Varaha the Boar. I am as big as a mountain, mighty as a lion and I radiate as the sun. I drew forth the earth from the watery depths.
Bride: I know this courage. You are my husband! We were reborn through progeny. But where are you now?
Enchantress leads her to 4th Practitioner, whom she touches.
Bride: Who are you?
4th Practitioner: I am Narasinha, half man, half lion, neither man, beast nor God. I rescue the devotees of Vishnu from persecution.
Bride: Familiar to me is this loyalty and strength. You are my husband! I remember we were reborn. But where?
Enchantress leads Bride to 5th Practitioner, and she touches him.
Bride: Who are you?
5th Practitioner: I am the Dwarf Vamana. Dwarf that I am, yet I made two places that covered all the earth and the heavens.
Bride: Well known to me is this dwarf whose dreams reached forth bright rays to all earth and the seven heavens! You are Akhnaton, Pharaoh of Egypt and I was your Great Queen, Nefertiti. Yet now we were wholly human we drew apart. We were reborn.
Enchantress draws Bride to 6th Practitioner. She touches him.
Bride: Who are you?
6th Practitioner: A follower of the way, I have three treasures that I guard and cherish: the first is love; the second is contentment; the third is humility. Only the loving are courageous; only the contented are magnanimous; only the humble are capable of command. I am Lao-Tse. The Tao is the Way.
Bride: These are my own clear thoughts. I know you as myself. We were as two flowers on one stem. But Lakshmi turns the Wheel of Fortune. We were reborn.
Enchantress leads Bride to 7th Practitioner, who touches him.
Bride: Who are you?
7th Practitioner: I am Rama the King. Hear of my city Ayodhya, sprung of ancient Solar Race.
lived in mutual kindness, helpful with their ample wealth,
Bride: Memory awakens. How I loved this city. Beautiful was our wedding . . .
as ancient rite ordaineth, and as sacred law require,
7th Practitioner: Alas, as the Golden Age declined, violence and lust increased. The Demon Ravana stole you from me and only after a long and cruel war did I rescue you!
Bride: Only to doubt my loyalty and hence to banish and then burn me! But I emerged unscathed!
"My woman's heart was bursting and my day on earth
We were separated but reborn.
Enchantress leads Bride to 8th Practitioner, she touches him.
Bride: Who are you?
8th Practitioner: I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all creatures I am the beginning, the end and the middle of all beings. I am Vishnu of lights. I am the radiant sun and among the stars, I am the Moon.
Bride: Why, so am I, and all beings who know their own Divinity! But are you a man?
8th Practitioner: I am Lord Krishna of the Warrior Caste, charioteer and Guru of Prince Arjuna.
Bride: I loved Arjuna and his beloved dog. But you I cannot remember. Are you my husband?
8th Practitioner: I also cannot recollect. I had 16,108 wives, whom I delighted simultaneously!
Bride: Now I know you through your wit! You were a flute-player! In our cheerful youth together you hid our clothes one day, when we maidens were bathing. I was your wife, the milkmaid Radha. We were reborn.
Enchantress leads Bride to 9th Practitioner, whom she touches.
9th Practitioner: None may touch the living Buddha!
Bride: There are millions of Buddhas, and still more Bodhisattvas. What was your name when you walked or rather meditated upon our earth?
9th Practitioner: My name was Prince Siddhartha. I taught the Middle Way, the practice of compassion for all beings, and the speaking of Truth. With open hand I gave the eight moral precepts.
Bride: I was your wife, Yashodhara. You deserted me to save humanity from illness, old age and death.
9th Practitioner: I brought our union to completion through both of us attaining Nirvana. Did I not demonstrate your enlightment before my disciples? I told you of our many incarnations as lovers. When I first saw you, you wore a black and yellow sari; and I reminded you of our lives together as tiger and tigress!
Bride: Then why lose these happy lives for some abstracted consciousness beyond humanity and earth?
9th Practitioner: Now you speak wisely. Not for women is such a path remote from nature. I forbade you and my other wives to become nuns, when you requested this. Only when you insisted did I give way reluctantly. So was the Middle Way lost in India. For men may become monks when they have given the earth children through many wives. But women are the life givers, the Mothers.
Bride: You always won in argument! I admired your clear mind and your compassionate courtesy. You died of eating pork, because you would not injure the feelings of a simple man who offered you forbidden meat. Our ninth life is completed, of the nine Birth Moons of the Mother Goddess. May not I and my husband attain Nirvana and leave this earth?
Enchantress: It is for you both to decide.
Bride: The evil age is upon us when man destroys his fellow creatures through lust for power and greed. We return. But where?
Enchantress leads Bride to 10th Practitioner - she touches him.
10th Practitioner: Touch me not, for I have not yet left this bourne. I am he who taught that the Divine Spirit is within all beings, and that all are Gods and Goddesses. I spoke of my Father the Ruler, and my Mother, Wisdom.
Bride: My heart is filled with grief. I remember what men did to you when you taught them what they most longed for and most feared - The Divine Love. But were you my husband?
10th Practitioner: Hear my words, recorded by my disciple: “I appeared unto my Mother as Gabriel.” So are you both Bride and Mother and yet no wife. It is recorded that you followed me into Heaven in a chariot of the Cherubim, arising into my bosom, wrapped with me in a garment of light.
Bride: You were Jesus Immanuel of Nazareth and I was Maria. Fate decrees that we return. So be it.
Enchantress takes Bride to 11th Practitioner and she touches him.
Bride: Who are you?
11th Practitioner: I am Rumi, the poet, of Islam. I know and love Deity in all beings and in all existences. You touch me, you touch the cosmos, and you also are the cosmos. All stars are within us and in all art. We need not seek the Deity. It is here. It is now.
Bride: My mind and heart respond to this. You are my soul mate. Surely now we may enter Paradise, having accepted this earth with love and humility? Yet what of others who still suffer? We will return. But how? And when?
Magician: This is the eleventh hour, the barrier of time that Is. Are you willing to step across this dividing river, or will you enter paradise?
Bride: Let my husband choose. I will return.
Bridegroom enters circle and comes behind Bride. He touches her.
Bride: Who are you, that fills me with awe and mystery?
Bridegroom: When Truth and Love disappear from the earth, and falsehood and cruelty prevail, I come. When the earth will be honoured only for its buried treasures, and true worth gives place to empty display, I manifest. When true religion is no more, and honour departs from husbands, wives and children, I return. When the holy elements of air and water and earth are poisoned by greedy men, I come. When man and woman together slaughter their children in cruel war, I come. When evil predominates over good, free choice is lost, and so I come with Glory and Power. I will ride through the world on a white horse, bearing a drawn sword that blazes like a comet. I will prepare for the renewal of creation. I am Kalki, He who is to come.
Bride: When this night comes upon us. I shall be with you, for your blazing comet needs the Ocean of Milk to quench it. So shall those who are worthy dwell upon the earth, nurturing all her creatures with peace, beauty and love.
Magician removes veil from Bridegroom and Enchantress unveils Bride.
Bride: At last I know you! You are a God, my husband. You are Vishnu.
Bridegroom: I have loved you always but not known you until now. You are my wife, a Goddess. You are Lakshmi.
Magician: Let the Divine Union be celebrated, that all may experience Creative Love.
Bride and Bridegroom offer incense to the Deities and circle the fire on the altar three times, left to right. Then they place hands on each others’ shoulders until power is experienced and gold, turquoise, blue and rose light may be seen. Magician and Enchantress do this also, forming an equal-armed cross within the circle. Participants place arms out and touch shoulders of the Four until strong power is felt by all.
Enchantress: Friends, let us experience the divine Love of Venus, of Lakshmi and of Vishnu.
Enchantress: Let us send love, peace and inspiration to all.
Reports on visions and other experiences.
Magician: We give thanks to Venus, Lakshmi and Vishnu.
Sources: "The Sea Priestess", Dion Fortune (originally self-published by the author in 1938), newer editions include those by Aquarian Press, London and Samuel Weiser, New York. "Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe", Lucretius Carus Titus, Ronald Latham, New York, 1951, later reprinted by Penguin Classics. "Aegyptiaca of Manetho: Manetho's History of Egypt" Manetho, and "The Tetrabiblos", Ptolemy, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1940, Loeb Classical Library, both works published in a single volume. "Indian Mythology", Veronica Ions, Paul Hamlyn Publishing, London. "Springs of Chinese Wisdom", E. Hettinger, Search Books, originally published by Herder & Herder, New York, 1971. "The Ramayana" and "Mahabharata", from the Bhagavadgita. The Apocryphal New Testament. Sufi Books.
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