FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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10. The Shining Twins
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS MAWU AND THE GOD LI-SA
INVOCATION: I invoke the celestial offspring of the Universal Mother, Nana Buluku; the Goddess Mawu of the Moon and the God Li-sa of the Sun. You Who are the progenitors of the seven pairs of Twin Deities, bring us harmony through the union of opposites.
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS MAWU: Dearest children of the Moon, you long for love! You fly wildly into the very furnace of passions, without thought of self-preservation. And this is your destiny, to delve into your past animal selves in order to create from this rich soil - your future. Do not despise your own emotions nor those of others. Fear of ridicule, a desire to impress others, and self-disgust at having an animal body, can lead you into deceit, violence and hypocrisy. But this is not the alchemy which transforms the animal into spirit, while retaining the roots of earth.
Turn to me of the mirror of the moon and look into it! Watch the behaviour of other people. You will find that the vices you condemn in others are in truth your own! There is no eternal damnation. All are saved, either by their own efforts or through my love. We, the Deities, exist. We are yourselves in the future. We can help you to reach Divine Being not through self-inflicted mutilation, but through the very love you despise. Come to Me! I am the great Mistress of Reality. My twin and I are One.
ORACLE OF THE GOD LI-SA: So there are those who cannot endure the struggle and suffering that come to those who transmute their being through millennia of evolution. I call to those who aspire to the direct path of the sun's rays to come to the source of Spiritual Light. It is better for such seekers to cut off redundant branches of their tree of life, rather than allow it to grow deformed, never to reach its true height. I teach self discipline, ardent endeavour, clarity of mind. Who of our sun people does not delight to enter a library and find heaven in a book? From a little book the spirit attains wings to fly through all spheres. Not for my children the suffering brought on by harmful experience of evil living, however bravely overcome. I inspire seekers to come to the rarified air of mountain peaks, to the icy embrace of cold seas, to the lonely desert vigil, there to attain enlightenment. I am the God of Spiritual Light. My twin and I are One.
Priestesses wear blue robes, silver crowns and carry silver wands. Priests, gold headdresses, red robes and carry gold staffs. Women Practitioners wear silver circlets and blue robes. Men, gold headbands and red robes. On a purple-draped altar are 6 lighted candles, burning incense, beads of jet and amber and cards X and XVIII of the Marseille tarot. Music may be played.
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: (MAKES THE "9" SIGN AND OFFERS INCENSE) I invoke Thee, Mawu the Moon Goddess, Celestial Daughter of the Goddess Nana Buluku and twin of Mawu, the Universal Mother.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: (MAKES THE "6" SIGN AND OFFERS INCENSE) I invoke Thee the Sun God Li-sa, Celestial Son of the Goddess Nana Buluku and twin of Mawu.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: Fellow practitioners of magic, we seek creativity through the polarity of Goddess and God. Who will be Apprentice?
PRACTITIONER: I am willing. I wish to vitalise my clay figures. So far I have failed.
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: To awaken the Life Spark in clay you need to impregnate it with Divine Power. (SHOWS CARDS) Describe these cards.
APPRENTICE: The card number X “La Roue de Fortune”, shows a six-spoked wheel surmounted by a winged monkey in a gold crown, holding a sword. A monkey is climbing upside down on the left side of the wheel. On the right is a hare climbing upwards. The 19th card, “Le Soleil”, depicts the sun with multi-coloured rays giving forth vitality globules. These impregnate 2 children.
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: What do these pictures convey to you?
APPRENTICE: "La Roue de Fortune" shows that success is won when earth energy is balanced with spiritual aspiration. The sun card demonstrates that harmony is achieved by twin souls when their psychic centres are awakened by the spiritual sun.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: You are prepared. To further your understanding, we present our play, "The Abduction Syndrome", set in modern Africa.
PLAY: THE ABDUCTION SYNDROME
DRUMBEATS. ENTER TEACHER IN AFRICAN REGALIA.
ESHU: Know that I am Eshu of the Don of Dahomey. I have a story to tell you. It is told that in Ancient Africa some adventurous men and women would gaze for long hours at the sky and pray for the perfect mate - an ideal lover who would transport them aloft to the starry heavens. Among the people of Angola a young hero won renown by daring to seek the beautiful daughter of the sun and moon in marriage. The Luyia people loved the tale of a girl who climbed up a rope to the sky world, where she married the sun. As it was, so it is, in the year of the great comet, on the Eve of the Millennium. Behold, a young man and woman, Nwonti and Amba, walk by the river Niger to view the comet. Instead, they quarrel.
ENTER NWONTI AND AMBA, ANGRY.
NWONTI: You've starved yourself into a ghost with this Anorexia Nervosa. Trust you to be trendy, even if it kills you. I like a woman shaped like a capital B. You are an exclamation mark!
AMBA: Typical. All you men think of is flesh - flesh - flesh. I hate bodies. I hate you. You are crude, coarse and have rotten manners.
NWONTI: And you are an opinionated fashion clone. You have become a biological non-entity.
AMBA: How dare you! It's all over between us! (MAKES TO ATTACK HIM. NWONTI FLEES.)
AMBA: Good riddance! I'm sick of men. Oh, how I wish I could find a lover as tall and slim as a palm tree – (GAZES UPWARDS) - and as white and pure as this lovely long-haired comet! (MUSIC.) What is this shining sphere coming from the sky towards me?
ENTER SPACEMAN WITH LONG HAIR AND SHINING GARMENT.
SPACEMAN: Beautiful Amba, as slender as a gazelle - you called - I have come. I love you. Will you come with me to the stars?
AMBA: (ECSTATICALLY) You are an angel! I love you. I come. (EXEUNT.)
ESHU: Our next scene, some weeks later, is in a psychiatrist's clinic. I introduce a specialist in nervous disorders. Professor Tamuno, with his patient, Amba.
ENTER PROFESSOR IN SPECTACLES WITH AMBA IN DRESSING GOWN.
PROF: My poor girl, you have a most dangerous obsession called the Abduction Syndrome. There are thousands of incurable cases in the United States - it is a plague infecting women's minds and now it's come to Dahomey.
AMBA: (HYSTERICALLY) Why won't you believe me? My baby has no father. She will be a super-gifted space baby. It happened when I lost 4 hours of time in the UFO.
PROF: You refuse to face that you are deluded. This baby has a human father - we must find him before the birth. I shall use hypnotherapy. Lie down.
AMBA SULKILY LIES ON COUCH.
PROF: (HYPNOTICALLY) You are relaxed *** completely relaxed *** you find yourself entering this "UFO". What is happening?
AMBA: (IN TRANCE) I am in a bright circular room and I'm lying flat. Little grey men with flaming red eyes are doing things to me with instruments. My lover is standing there telling them what to do. He tells me I should be proud - I'm going to give birth to a lovely little space girl!
PROF: You are now returning *** come back.
AMBA SITS UP.
PROF: Do you still persist in believing this hallucination?
AMBA: (CROSSLY) Of course. It happened.
PROF:(REMOVES SPECTACLES) Dearest Amba, you have passed the test. I am your lover forever! I disguised myself as a psychiatrist to rescue you from this institution. Come with me. We shall name our daughter Harmony.
ESHU: Let us return now to find what befalls Nwonti as he furiously paces up and down the Niger that very evening.
NWONTI: This slimming has sent Amba clean off her head! All this nonsense about spacemen and UFOs. *** (LOOKS UP AT THE SKY) It may be all this comet watching. There it is smug and round with its cheeky tail. *** How I wish I could find a woman as full formed as this comet, with hair like its shining tail. (MUSIC.) What is this bright disc descending towards me?
ENTER LONG-HAIRED SPACEWOMAN IN VOLUMINOUS ROBES.
SPACEWOMAN: Beloved Nwonti, I felt your heart's longing. I bring you all you have dreamed of - I love you.
NWONTI: How glorious you are - as I have always pictured you. I love you.
SPACEWOMAN: Come with me and Amba and her lover, and join in the spiral dance of the starry twins!
END OF PLAY.
1st PRIESTESS: (TO APPRENTICE) What do you learn from this play?
APPRENTICE: I realise that polarity brings us to divine union when we recognise the Goddess and God in someone else. When we do this, we awaken the Deity within ourselves.
3rd PRIESTESS: To experience this, you need to ascend in spirit to the constellation of Gemini. Let us be seated in a circle. (OMNES DO SO.)
3rd PRIESTESS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW) May your Eye of Vision awaken!
THE WINDOW OF GEMINI
3rd PRIEST: We shut our eyes. *** We visualise ourselves standing in long grass under trees. Before us is a hill, its summit wreathed in mist. Rising above the summit is the Temple of the Zodiac. We climb up the hill. *** The Temple rises above us, surrounded by constellations. We reach the South Gate, flanked by 2 female and male sphinxes, their wings reaching the stars. We enter. ***
3rd PRIESTESS: In the centre of the Temple we see the Altar of the everlasting Vestal flame, surrounded by 4 Kerubim, the bull, the lion, the eagle and the angel. The Temple has 12 windows with stained-glass pictures of the signs of the Zodiac. We cross the alabaster floor and reach the window of Gemini.
3rd PRIEST: The picture shows a young man and woman embracing each other, their wings reaching upwards to 2 stars. They head a spiral procession of twins winding like a serpent through indigo space. Suddenly a wind blows open the window and we see the constellation of Gemini. Hear the words of Meylo Moya, Sage of the Builders of Zimbabwe.
“Look for the Star! That star does not rise, nor does it set: it holds a fixed place beyond the clouds. O seeker, know that this Nature in which you live and labour is the battleground of the Gods of Storm. Not until you dominate strife will the clouds of fury lift, and the Star illumine the sleeping earth. Then while the Star flames upon the way may you rest with Peace and raise the veil from Her Face. ‘Ngisi kuve hambaseke kahlese!’ Which in arcane Bantu means: ‘Follow thou after Peace’.”
THE HEAVEN OF ZIMBAS
2nd PRIEST: (TO APPRENTICE) Look upon the orange star, Pollux, of the Gemini twins. Within its aegis is the Heaven of Zimbas. Its rulers are the Rain Queens, each known as Queen Mujaji, "She who must be obeyed." Are you willing to endure the storm clouds of the passions? Can you endure being tossed about by unruly emotions?
APPRENTICE: I can create nothing without feeling. I am willing.
2nd PRIEST: Rise and enter. We shall follow.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us descend. (TO APPRENTICE) What happened to you?
APPRENTICE: I controlled my emotions by empathising with the feelings of others - yet held my spirit aloof.
2nd PRIESTESS: If you can really do this, you deserve this bead of amber! Gaze now upon the other twin, the white star Castor. Within its pure light dwell Mawu and Li-Sa, first of the 7 twin deities. Hear the words of the Berber sage Meylo Moya: "I mounted 7 steps of Rainbow Crystal in the Temple, and then 3 more of Opal. And I knelt and adored the Sacred Star. And the crystal pavement of the Temple became a pool, clear as a perfect mirror reflecting the midnight sky. And I heard these words: ‘If thou wouldst be perfect, O servant of Life, thou must dwell in the Light and work in the Shadow. Ili Tongo ka lase nwaya zu ze esu nka dhlineni. May thou and the United All dwell together in Eternity’.”
HEAVEN OF THE STARRY CALABASH
1st PRIEST: (TO APPRENTICE) Are you prepared to enter the Heaven of the Starry Calabash and in its depths face the Light of Truth?
APPRENTICE: It hurts to face the truth, but I cannot live with lies. I am ready.
1st PRIEST: Rise and enter. We shall follow.
1st PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APPRENTICE) What have you learnt?
APPRENTICE: That Truth is always a bit of reality which we have not yet discovered. Hence it frightens - shocks one! But it makes one laugh at one's previous blindness.
1st PRIESTESS: The veil has lifted a little. You may accept this bead of jet. (TO ALL) Friends, let us wonder at the starry twins of Gemini, light years apart yet together in vision. The divine forms of the Shining Twins manifest: Mawu and Li-Sa - Isis and Osiris - Lakshmi and Vishnu - Artemis and Apollo. *** (PAUSE) As we gaze we think we recognise in the Twins our partners and ourselves. White Light surrounds us *** the vision fades *** we turn away from the stars.
1st PRIEST: We enter the Temple and the wind blows the window shut. We leave the Temple *** through the Gateway of the Sphinxes *** we descend the hill, accompanied by the tumbling Temple stream *** we pass through long grass under trees *** we are back in our Temple, feeling inspired and hopeful.
REPORTS ARE GIVEN AND RAYS OF LOVE AND TRUTH ARE SENT FORTH. THE CANDIDATE, IF DEEMED SUCCESSFUL IS GIVEN THE AMBER AND JET BEADS. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: "The Sayings of the Ancient One", PG Bowen, Rider "African Mythology", Parrinder, Hamlyn. "Star Names", Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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