FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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4. The Throne of Destiny
ORACLE OF JUNO
INVOCATION: Help us, Juno, Ancient Goddess, Future Queen of the coming age, whose peacock has as eyes myriads of stars! We are helpless, subject to fear, cruelty, disease and death. You are immortal, above all evil. Teach us how to control our lives!
ORACLE: What you seek is already within yourselves, as a star obscured by clouds. You are suffering, weak, prey to seeming chance, not knowing what tomorrow brings you. And this is because you have chosen this! The phenomenal world is a mirage created by yourselves, animated by Deity, for you to experiment with your desires and ideas. Otherwise you would be as heavenly children, fearing no evil but never reaching maturity.
You know well the myths narrated about my severity - how I punish presumptuous mortals. And I do! False ego drains the true self of life flow. The Deities known for meting out harsh punishment are those who teach you most quickly! You can only learn to control this dream world by experiencing both good and evil. Divine Justice makes clear your choice.
The way to sovereignty is not through arrogance and tyrannising over others. It is through ruling one's own elements of being. And this is very difficult, for who knows their own vices and weaknesses? Here I can offer guidance, for I am the Goddess of Justice. People will forgive you for unkindness, but not for injustice. It is not enough to love all: you need to be just to all. This is the prerogative of the Sovereign. Justice of the Sovereign includes both punishment and mercy, sceptre and orb.
In order to be ruler you need yourself to obey Divine Law. So first you must discover what this Law is! You need to accept inspiration. You will discover that Divine Law pervades not only the High Heavens but is within each creature and object through Nature Herself. Find this law within yourself and you will be Sovereign indeed! You will know me as I truly am.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLDEN CROWNS AND PURPLE ROBES, PRIESTS GOLD HEADDRESSES AND CRIMSON ROBES. PRACTITIONERS GOLDEN ROBES AND CIRCLETS. WOMEN IN PEACOCK GREEN ROBES AND MEN IN PEACOCK BLUE ROBES. ON A GOLD DRAPED ALTAR ARE 6 LIGHTED CANDLES, A SILVER BOWL OF WATER, ORB AND CARDS III AND XIV OF THE MARSEILLE TAROT. MUSIC MAY BE PLAYED THROUGHOUT.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: Fellow Practitioners of Magic, we would learn the art of Sovereignty. Let us invoke the Goddess Juno, Queen of Heaven!
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: (OFFERS INCENSE) I offer incense to Juno, Sovereign of Olympus: "I sing of gold-throned Hera whom Rhea bore. Queen of the Immortals is she, surpassing all in beauty. She is the Sister and Wife of loud-thundering Zeus the Glorious Goddess whom all the Blessed throughout high Olympus reverence and honour, even as Zeus who delights in Thunder." Noble Juno, inspire us with the art of sovereignty!
PR. H: (OFFERS INCENSE) I offer incense to Jupiter, Ruler of the Immortals. "I sing of Zeus, Chief among the Gods and the greatest; all-seeing, the Lord of all, the Fulfiller, who receives whispered words from Themis, as she sits leaning towards him. Be gracious, all-seeing Son of Cronos, most excellent and great!" Great Jupiter, teach us how to rule wisely!
1st PRIEST: Who would be apprentice?
1st PRACTITIONER: I would! I wish for success in life.
1st PRIEST: (SHOWS TAROT CARDS) Describe these!
APPRENTICE: Number III, "L'Imperatrice", depicts an Empress seated on a throne with two wing-like supports. She wears a gold closed crown, a gold pectoral and blue and red robes. On her right arm is a shield emblazoned with a gold lion; her left hand holds a sceptre with orb and cross. The XIV card is entitled "Temperance" and shows a winged angel. In her left hand she holds a blue pitcher from which she pours water into a red pitcher held in her right hand. She stands in a desert with two green shrubs.
1st PRIESTESS: What do you make of these two women?
PRACTITIONER: The Angel is the traditional ideal of woman as healer and helper. We do not have as yet many Empresses! Historically Empresses and Queens were only consorts and could not rule.
1st PRIESTESS: These women represent two opposing forces. We shall illustrate this with a play; "Madame President versus The Goddess."
PLAY: MADAME PRESIDENT VERSUS THE GODDESS
ACTORS WEAR MODERN DRESS. 2 GONG STROKES. ENTER PRESENTER.
PRESENTER: Let me as Presenter show you an Homeric conflict! In Ancient Ethiopia an earthly mother, Cassiopeia, boasted that her daughter Andromeda was even more beautiful than the Goddess of the sea, Thetis! To punish such impious boasting, Thetis engulfed Cassiopeia's port with a tidal wave. The Goddess then pinioned her victim upon a chair, which she placed in the northern sky, that it might rotate forever around the Pole Star! But others declare that the Goddess relented and freed her victim. So the chair became the Throne of Isis, Star of the Sea. In our own day this conflict still rages. Picture before you the antechamber of a palace in present day England.
ENTER POLITICIAN AND JOURNALIST.
POLITICIAN: Madame President is always in a diabolical mood after her visits to Queen Thetis!
JOURNALIST: We must get rid of this monstrous regiment of women now or women will take over the world. You are a politician - I'm a journalist - we could do it - but how?
POLITICIAN: As men always have, by playing on women's rivalry and jealousy. While Madame President wins just wars, our Queen has become an Icon by doing nothing. Videos of her riding on her white horse, weeping over babies and swimming in a designer bikini circulate over the world by satellite. She is a Goddess! We must stir up trouble between them. Divide and rule! They loathe each other anyway.
ENTER MADAME PRESIDENT: (IN TAILOR-MADE SUIT, IN A RAGE) That silly woman is intolerable! All she can do is to be photographed crying over people's diseases and poverty, or swanning about in a tiara with "pop stars"! How can I govern the country sensibly with all her propaganda against my monetary and national programme?
POLITICIAN: The whole world knows that you, Madame President, are by far the greatest Leader this country has - if not in the world. However, there are some matters we wish to discuss with you - but I see her Majesty is approaching!
MADAME PRESIDENT: We will withdraw. We will see you when she has gone. (EXIT MADAME PRESIDENT.)
QUEEN THETIS: (FLOATS IN, ELEGANTLY DRESSED) I am exhausted! How can the woman be so heartless? Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor. The President does it the other way round. Also she is insulting our foreign friends. Can't you two do anything about this?
JOURNALIST: Not everyone has your Majesty's sensitivity and care for others. For your sake we will try - but talking to Madame President is like talking to a stone wall. She is returning ...
QUEEN: Then I'm off. I'll look in to find out how you've got on. (FLOATS OUT.)
RE-ENTER MADAME PRESIDENT: Let's get on with it. What do you want to discuss?
POLITICIAN: Madame President, the Queen raised the issues. We were shocked. She accuses you of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
MADAME PRESIDENT: Of course I do. It's sound scripture. "Unto them that hath shall be given, and from them that hath nothing, even that which they hath shall be taken away." This is basic economics. The poor are poor because they waste their money on videos and lottery tickets. The rich know how to make money, and so employ the poor in service industries. It's perfect logic.
JOURNALIST: We were taken aback when the Queen objected to your alienating our foreign allies - despite your personal prestige among world leaders.
MADAME PRESIDENT: They respect us because we speak from strength. We can do trade with them - sell them arms, but we will not allow our country to be swamped by immigrants - or foreign laws. We shall never change our mind. We are the rock of ages. (STALKS OUT.)
ENTER QUEEN: (CAUTIOUSLY) Has she gone? Good. These ghastly meetings - did she listen to you?
POLITICIAN: No, your Majesty. She has not your modern approach. There is only one way. We must get rid of her.
QUEEN: (ENTHUSIASTICALLY) I'm all for it!
JOURNALIST: But how? She is impregnable. Your Majesty is the irresistible force - she is the immovable object.
QUEEN: There is a way. A witch can only be killed by a silver bullet. What is the weapon that women dare not use, and yet most dread?
POLITICIAN: (AGHAST) Surely not that! People have tried to blow her up, but she escaped.
QUEEN: No no. I mean ridicule! (LAUGHS. EXIT.)
POLITICIAN: Brilliant! She has given us the weapon to destroy both of them! We'll start on the President. Summon your hacks, your prurient lie-mongers, your third-rate career men, your spiteful gossip columnists - vulgar cartoonists - your usual entourage in fact.
JOURNALIST: We can add sleazy ambitious and treacherous politicians - I'll get them right away.
PRESENTER: And that is just what he did, through press, television, radio and rumour. And the great Madame President like Julius Caesar was stabbed in the back many times and crawled away still alive and very, very angry.
ENTER MADAME PRESIDENT: Treachery! Underhanded cowards! I am ruined. I weep tears of blood.
ENTER QUEEN: (WEARING TIARA) You requested an audience with us?
MADAM PRESIDENT: Your majesty, I wish to tender my resignation.
QUEEN: (WITH ALACRITY) We accept it ... It appears customary for a person after a great Fall to make a useful speech. I realise now that I am in danger. Can you help me?
EX-MADAME PRESIDENT: I feel like Cardinal Wolsey. (IN SONOROUS TONES) Your Majesty, remain the Veiled Crown and you are safe. Your people can then create their own dreams of you behind the veil. I fell because I was a woman of the people who aspired to be a Queen. You are a Queen. If you attempt to become a woman you are lost. The people who now adore you will trample you. Remember Marie Antoinette. Remember me. Retreat to your throne - or you will fall as I did.
QUEEN: (SENTIMENTALLY MOVED) How very very deep. I must be my True Self. Let us be friends!
BOTH WOMEN EMBRACE.
1 GONG STROKE. END OF PLAY.
1st PRIESTESS: (TO APP) Does this explain these two women?
APPRENTICE: I understand that to idolise a Role Model may dangerously expand the Model's ego - and diminish oneself.
1st PRIEST: You answer well. It is now necessary for you to make a magical journey to the constellation of Sagittarius in the House of Jupiter. There you may yourself experience being both subject and sovereign.
THE WINDOW OF SAGITTARIUS
2nd PRIESTESS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW) May you awaken the brow jewel.
3rd PRIEST: Let us be seated with closed eyes. We surround ourselves with a rainbow and feel a tingle in our eye of vision *** we face a hill surmounted by the Temple of the Zodiac. We mount the hill *** and reach the South-West portico flanked by a male and a female sphinx. We enter *** in the centre is the Solar Altar flanked by four Kerubs. We approach the North and reach the window of Sagittarius.
3rd PRIESTESS: We stand before it. A stained-glass window shows a Goddess enthroned on a mighty rock. She is crowned and bears in her right hand a sceptre surmounted by a gold eagle. In her left hand she holds a crystal orb. Above her on the left is a crescent moon above a winged white horse. On the right is a rayed sun shining upon a peacock with raised tail.
3rd PRIEST: A sudden wind blows open the window and we see the nine great stars and the fifty-four lesser ones of Sagittarius.
ARCADIA OF THE STARRY BOW
3rd PRIEST: Protected by the starry bow of the Centaur lies Arcadia. "Clearly seen are the bright symbols of sacred rites, whensoever, at the opening of the chamber of the purple-robed Hours, the fragrant spring bringeth the nectar bearing plants. Then, oh then, are flung on the immortal earth the lovely tresses of violets, and roses are entwined in their hair; then ring the voices of songs to the sound of flutes; then ring the dances in honour of diadem-wreathed Semele."
(TO APPRENTICE) Friend, enter Arcadia of the Starry Bow and receive joy and love and enchantment from the Immortals. This is the realm where rest those who accept divine commands with faith and happiness. But linger too long here and you will be the lotus-eaters, who sit by the Arcadian stream, unendingly smiling, bereft of strength, purpose and wit! We shall follow you through the window. ***
3rd PRIESTESS: Let us return from Arcadia! (TO APPRENTICE) What happened to you?
APP: That is it! Everything happened to me! I gave nothing and took everything. I learnt to rule one must be subject - but only for a while!
2nd PRIESTESS: You have passed the first test. It is now necessary for you to face the starry arrow of the Centaur.
MOUNT OLYMPUS OF THE STARRY ARROW
2nd PRIESTESS: Beneath the starry arrow of the Centaur is Mount Olympus of the Starry Arrow. This is the throne of destiny, which must be climbed if sovereignty is to be achieved. "One is the race of men, one is the race of Gods, and from one Mother, Gaia, do we both derive our breath; yet a power that is wholly sundered parteth us, in that one is naught - ourselves; while for the Gods the brazen Heaven endureth as an abode unshaken for evermore. Albeit, we mortals have some likeness, either in might of mind or in our nature, to the Immortals. Fate hath ordained that we should aspire to Olympus." (TO APPRENTICE) Attempt to reach the summit of Mount Olympus of the Starry Arrow. We shall follow.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APPRENTICE) Were you able to reach the summit?
APPRENTICE: I was, after much difficulty - only to find a still higher mountain that had been concealed! I learnt that to conquer is to find further goals.
2nd PRIESTESS: You have passed the second test. Friends, we gaze upon Divinity and feel akin.
2nd PRIEST: Hear the testimony of Ovid: "I'll sing the truth, but one will say I lied, and think no Deities were ever seen by mortal. There is a God within us. It is when this Deity stirs that our bosom warms; it is the divine impulse that sows the seeds of inspiration. I have a peculiar right to see the faces of the Gods, whether because I am a Bard, or because I sing of sacred things. There is a Grove where trees grow thick, a spot sequestered from every sound except the purl of water. Lo, I beheld the Goddesses! Of these it was Juno I recognised, who stands within Jove's citadel. I shivered, and speechless though I was, my pallid hue betrayed my feeling.”
2nd PRIESTESS: It was Juno Covella herself who removed the fears she had inspired. She spoke: "O poet, thou hast won for thyself the right to look upon a celestial divinity by undertaking to celebrate this Rite of Juno.” Seek to gaze upon her form as Queen of Heaven. ***
VISION OF THE GODDESS JUNO
2nd PRIEST: We give thanks to Juno for whatever she has bestowed upon us. Let us return through the window of Sagittarius to the Temple of the Zodiac. *** A wind shuts the window behind us. We leave the Temple and descend the hill, accompanied by a tumbling stream *** once more we are in our earthly temple.
REPORTS ARE GIVEN AND RAYS OF STRENGTH AND PEACE ARE SENT FORTH. THE APPRENTICE, IF SUCCESSFUL IS GIVEN THE ORB. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: "Pindar, Callimachus and Lycophron", published by Heinemann and Harvard. "Fasti", Ovid, Dent. "Juno Covella", Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara Publications, "Star Names", Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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