FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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5. The Rainbow Bridge
ORACLE OF NERTHUS
INVOCATION: Holy Goddess Nerthus of the Maternal Earth, help us to save our planet from pollution of air, land and sea and the destruction of her living creatures.
ORACLE: You are the earth, each one of you! Whether you come from a distant sun or planet - yet at this moment you are using my earth for your own purposes! Your body is composed of whirling atoms, solar systems of transient radiations. Thus your body is a microcosm of the universe. To rule your body, your empire, is the first step towards expanding your consciousness beyond the world of the material senses.
One way of spiritual attainment is to ignore the body. This is a shortcut and can be won through metaphysical concentration. But my way, the path of earth, is to comprehend, not to excommunicate your body! You cannot dominate the emotions: nor may spirit conquer matter, for matter is an octave of spirit, and these two are interdependent.
To attain the goal of your Shaman journey - to save the earth - you need to be still. You can only be alive "now", not "yesterday", nor "tomorrow". Sit and feel your body, the pressure of your limbs, your weight and be aware of your breathing. You feel an electric tingling. Listen to the outside world, then to the flow of your feelings and thoughts. There steals into your stillness the notes sent forth by every plant and stone which form the symphony of creation. With your Eye of Vision you see the colours that belong to these musical notes. You behold the pulsating hearts of trees, the auras of plants and stones, the rainbow rays of almighty stars that move in ever-circling constellations. You see the earth as she truly is: perfect.
Only by experiencing this perfection can you know how to bring the physical earth into resonance with her spiritual reality. So shall the Daughter show forth her Mother's glory.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD CROWNS, SCARLET CLOAKS AND CARRY SILVER WANDS. PRIESTS WEAR GOLD HEADDRESSES AND BLUE ROBES, AND STAFFS MARKED WITH RUNES OF ICE AND FIRE. WOMEN PRACTITIONERS WEAR GOLD CIRCLETS AND GREEN CLOAKS. MEN, ORANGE HEADRESSES AND BROWN CLOAKS. ON GREEN DRAPED ALTAR ARE 10 LIGHTED CANDLES, A WOODEN BOWL OF WATER, BURNING INCENSE, A GOLD RING AND CARDS IV OF XV OF THE MARSEILLE TAROT.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: Fellow magicians, we aspire to act our parts in recreating the earth according to the divine plan. Earth's Fate, her Doom, is ordered by the Fates, the three Norns. These are Urd, Destiny: Verdandi, Being: Skuld, Necessity. We make our own Doom. Let us call upon the Earth Goddess, Nerthus, to guide us.
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: (MAKES SIGN OF EARTH EQUAL-ARMED CROSS IN CIRCLE)
Come to us, Nerthus, Goddess of the Maternal Earth!
“Sprung from Chaos came the Mother,
From the darkness brought She Light,
And Her Body burned with fires,
Waters gushed from ripening breasts.
And from Her sprang all creation,
Beasts and trees and elves and sprites,
Fragrant flowers and howling wolves,
Roaring waves and geysers fiery.
And She laughed at these Her offspring,
But She wept to see mankind.”
Help us, Nerthus, to attain true being.
PR. H: The Gods strengthen our resolve. (MAKES SIGN OF THOR'S HAMMER.)
Give us courage, Son of Nerthus, Almighty Thor!
“Mightiest of the Gods of Asgard,
Thor doth hurl the star-axe Mjolnar,
Claps the thunder, fires the lightning.
Thor destroys the hordes of giants,
Builds the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard,
On which the Gods ascend to heaven.
Thor doth consecrate all weddings,
Protects the weak, and every lover!”
Who will be candidate for the Initiation of the Earth?
1st PRACTITIONER: I have long prepared for this. I am willing.
1st PRIEST: (SHOWS PRACTITIONER TAROT CARDS) Describe these!
PRACTITIONER: The first card, number IV, shows an enthroned Emperor wearing a gold-rayed crown. He holds a sceptre of orb and cross, symbol of earthly power. On his shield is emblazoned a gold eagle. The other card, number XV, is entitled "Le Diable", and shows a comical figure with gold headdress and 2 antlers. He has a bat's wings, a woman's breasts and a man's genitals. His feet are clawed. Tied to his pedestal are two humanoid figures, ropes around their necks. They have pointed ears, and clawed feet.
1st PRIEST: What do you make of these figures?
PRACTITIONER: The Emperor is in full control of himself, and so rules by consent. The devil has to control his followers by binding them with a rope around their necks, dividing head from heart.
PRS. H: You qualify as candidate. To clarify still further, we offer our play, "The Doomsday Ring", set in modern France.
PLAY: THE DOOMSDAY RING
2 GONG STROKES. IN MODERN DRESS, ENTER SHAMAN AND WISE WOMAN.
SHAMAN: A Shaman travels the world not as a seeker but as a finder. Pay heed to my words. In ancient times the Deities lived in a beautiful heaven called Asgard. Their divine bodies were made of an immaterial substance called "Fyogia", as was Asgard itself. Asgard was connected with the Physical world by a Rainbow Bridge, Bifrost. Giants in charge of the earthly elements made war on any unwary Deity trying to visit their domain.
WISE-WOMAN: It was greed, a craving for earthly power, and not the giants, which caused the fall of Asgard. Loki the Fire God stole the magical ring from the dwarf Andvari, one of the dwarfs who mined the earth's treasures. We wise women know well the virtues of that ring! It brings power over earth's elements to its lawful owner: but a curse on anyone who steals it. So came the destruction of the Gods! The Rainbow Bridge was broken. The Deities perished. And Asgard was driven apart by a mighty volcano which shattered it into a thousand whirling pieces!
SHAMAN: Time renews itself. The Gods are reborn in our modern times. Let us visit a secure unit in a psychiatric institution.
EXEUNT SHAMAN AND WISE-WOMAN. ENTER COLONEL AND PROFESSOR.
COL: This looks a secure cell. It must never leak out that our Empire's leader has gone mad! He can never leave this place alive.
PROF: Mon Colonel, I have already dealt satisfactorily with leaders of the Opposition. Even Amnesty International has not located them.
COL: Excellent. You shall be awarded a medal. The Quantum Bomb must be tested for the security of our Empire. Bring the General in!
2 MEN IN WHITE COATS BRING IN GENERAL, WHO LOOKS IN A TRANCE.
COL: Welcome Mon General! With the Professor's expert medication and electric shock treatment - you should get rid of your hallucinations!
GEN: (ARMS HELD UPWARDS) The Doomsday Ring! The Doomsday Ring! When the circle is completed we shall surely perish. It shall not be my hand that releases it. I am accursed ...
PROF: (SOOTHINGLY) Calm yourself, your Excellency. You are suffering from stress, from all your work preparing for our test. Anyway, you can hardly call the Quantum Bomb a ring - a symbol of love. I see you are wearing your wedding ring.
GEN: (STRIDING UP, WAVING HIS HANDS) Not the ring of love. The Doomsday ring of fire. Our bomb, when you detonate it in the Pacific Ocean will cause a chain of earthquakes from New Zealand to Japan - through China and the Indian Ocean - to Turkey - Libya - then like a serpent strangling the earth in its coils it will move to Iceland - Alaska - down the Americas - until it devours its own tail in its place of origin! When the ring is complete, then comes doomsday.
COL: You are raving. Where did you hear this unscientific nonsense?
GEN: (HALF WHISPERING) I hear voices. They come when I sleep and they come when I am awake - always the same - do not release the Doomsday Ring!
COL: You hear voices? You really are insane. You will not be releasing anything - including yourself. We shall go ahead with our tests. Our team of experts assure us there is no danger. It is our duty to protect the Empire.
GEN: I shall prevent you! (HE HURLS HIMSELF AT THE COLONEL AND PROFESSOR, WHO FLEE.)
MAGICAL MUSIC. ENTER YOUNG GIRL AND MAN IN ROBES.
GEN: Who are you? How did you get into this locked cell?
YOUNG MAN: We can pass through doors.
YOUNG GIRL: We are a new humanity. We travel to you from the future.
YOUNG MAN: The Ring of Destruction is transient: a rainbow circle reflected in a still lake is everlasting.
YOUNG GIRL: We are here to release you. Come with us over the Rainbow Bridge, and help us renew the earth!
EXEUNT WITH GENERAL. ENTER SHAMAN AND WISE-WOMAN.
WISE-WOMAN: Destiny is accomplished. The old world shall be renewed.
SHAMAN: And when the men in white coats came with straitjacket and medication - they found the General was dead.
1 GONG STROKE. END OF PLAY.
1st PRIESTESS: (TO CANDIDATE) What does this play mean to you?
CANDIDATE: As we dream now, so it will be.
1st PRIESTESS: You are accepted as candidate.
1st PRIEST: To tread your Shaman path, you need to pass through Fire and Ice. Let us make a spiritual journey to the constellation of Capricorn, of the element of earth.
TEMPLE OF THE ZODIAC
3rd PRIESTESS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW) See with a single eye!
3rd PRIEST: Let us sit in a circle with eyes shut. *** We see before us a hill crowned with the Temple of the Zodiac. Its domed roof is surrounded by myriads of stars. We approach. *** The Temple has 12 windows and a southern portico flanked by 2 sphinxes. We enter *** we warm ourselves at the perpetual flame upon the central altar *** we move to the North, to the window of Capricorn. This shows a stained-glass picture of a goat, with fish's tail, accompanied by a green man crowned with leaves, and a mermaid holding a cornucopia. Suddenly a wind blows the window open and we face the constellation of Capricorn!
3rd PRIESTESS: The Magi of old called Capricorn "Altera Solis Porta", the starry gateway for souls to enter heaven. The stars called the Goat's head and body contain the abode of Muspell, ruled by the Valkyrie.
MUSPELL, ABODE OF FIRE
3rd PRIESTESS: Within this fiery realm the Ring of Doom lies buried. It brings destruction to the unworthy: yet nothing can be achieved without it.
“The hero saw, as told his mother,
As his own old mother told him,
How there flowed a fiery river,
In its fall a fiery island.
On the isle a peak all fiery,
On the peak a fiery eagle.
And his mouth with flame was glowing,
And his plumage fire was flashing.”
(TO CANDIDATE:) Are you willing to go through this fire?
CANDIDATE: I am willing.
3rd PRIEST: Then cross by the Rainbow Bridge that leads from here to Muspell. We shall follow.
3rd PRIEST: Let us return. (TO CANDIDATE) How did you fare?
CANDIDATE: I lived once more all the torment of past lives - revenge - hatred - every passion. But then I discovered their buried treasure - laughter, love, happiness.
3rd PRIESTESS: On your finger is a gold ring. You have passed the ordeal of fire.
NIFLHEIM, ABODE OF ICE
2nd PRIEST: Look at the stars that form the fish's tail of the goat! Here is Niflheim, Abode of Ice. Its ruler is the Goddess Hel, and her hound Garm is the Guardian. Here fantastic speculations imprison the mind with distortions of truth. Nonetheless we cannot achieve knowledge of truth without mind.
“Then did Pohjola's Ancient Mistress
Speak the evil-doer's doom:
'That thy moon shall cease its shining
In the rocks the moon I'll carry;
Hide the sun in rocky mountains,
And I'll send the Frost to freeze you,
That the frozen air destroyeth.
I will send a hail of iron,
And a hail of steel overwhelming.”
2nd PRIESTESS: (TO CANDIDATE) Are you willing to face the Ordeal of Ice?
CANDIDATE: So be it.
2nd PRIESTESS: Follow the rainbow bridge to Niflheim. Garm will allow you to pass him. We shall be with you.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO CANDIDATE) What did you experience?
CANDIDATE: I pierced the hidden secrets of the universe. I was the universe! Nothing existed outside myself. I was a God. Suddenly my proud isolation was shattered - by a blackbird's song! In a blinding flash I saw the Goddess Hel - and she was laughing! She had sent the blackbird, and I heard your voice calling me back.
2nd PRIESTESS: Many a magician has been trapped in the Abode of Ice. This time you have passed the test. You find a blackbird's wing in your hand.
1st PRIESTESS: Fellow magicians, know that Midgard, Abode of Earth, holds the balance between the spheres of fire and ice. Let us therefore seek a vision of the Goddess Nerthus, who presides over both Capricorn and our own planet.
VISION OF THE GODDESS NERTHUS
1st PRIESTESS: Let us return to the Temple of the Zodiac, bringing with us the gifts of Nerthus, that wisdom which embodies both love and truth. We enter through the window of Capricorn *** and leave by the South gate *** we descend the hill *** and we see that all the stars surrounding us are joined by a rainbow network. Using our own rainbow cords of light, we return to our earthly bodies in our Temple. ***
REPORTS ARE GIVEN. RAYS OF PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING ARE SENT FORTH. THE CANDIDATE, IF SUCCESSFUL IS GIVEN THE RING. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: “Kalevala” trans. Kirby, Everyman. “Eirik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas”, trans. Jones Oxford. Libretto, Wagner's “Ring”. “New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology”, Hamlyn. "Star Names" , Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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