FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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6. Cesara’s Ark
ORACLE OF MAGNA MATER
INVOCATION: Divine Cesara, Magna Mater, who brought thy children to new life after cataclysm, guide us as we face the ordeals of the Space Age.
ORACLE: My children, when you approach great change, you need to transform, not to deny yourselves. Those who brood on their inadequacy often leave nothing good to be transformed! You cannot transmute dross. Evildoers may boast of their successes: the good too often are ashamed of their creativity.
My ark is in verity the cosmic womb of rebirth. But this new life does not, as many fear, imply destruction of what you value. You may, by casting off old ways, lose buried treasure.
All love is like hidden gold that cannot be corrupted. When you adore another human being or any other creature, you adore a concealed Deity! Some regularly discard the objects of their love when some fault is revealed. Yet each time they have worshipped a hidden God or Goddess. Art forms, spiritual teachings and scientific theories rise and fall through fashion. But Truth is reflected in each passing phase. When you lament destruction you only see a discarded husk that once protected growing life. So do not reject loved ways, milk that once sustained your childhood. Tear a butterfly too soon from its chrysalis and it will surely die.
In order to extend the range of your consciousness, you need to preserve what you have! Lose your earthly mooring, and your little boat will surely capsize, released into the ocean too soon. Rather appreciate the earth around you and grow your plants. Then, when the time is ripe, you will have the seeds of future soul's growth within your grasp.
No one may come empty-handed to my Ark. Bring to me your harvest of treasured happiness, love and creativity. So will you be upheld by the wisdom of the deeps.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD CROWNS, PURPLE ROBES AND SILVER WANDS, PRIESTS SILVER HEADDRESSES AND PURPLE ROBES, GOLD STAFFS. WOMEN PRACTS. SILVER CIRCLETS AND BLUE ROBES, MEN GOLD CIRCLETS AND VIOLET ROBES. ON A BLUE DRAPED ALTAR ARE SEVEN LIGHTED CANDLES, A VESSEL OF WATER, BURNING INCENSE, A SEA SHELL AND A LONG WHITE FEATHER. CARD V AND XII OF THE MARSEILLE TAROT. MUSIC MAY BE PLAYED THROUGHOUT.
PRIEST HIEROPHANT: Fellow practitioners of the magical arts, we are here assembled to discover the secret of the lost Ark of the Goddess Cesara of Atlantis.
PRIESTESS HIEROPHANT: (MAKES SIGN OF AQUARIUS) I invoke Magna Mater, Cesara, thou who replenished the earth with the seeds of life after the deluge that overwhelmed Atlantis, bring us to rebirth from thy starry womb which is the Matrix.
PR. H: (MAKES THE SIGN OF NEPTUNE) I invoke the God of the purple seventh ray, Manannan of the oceans of space. Thy rotating wheel is the circling zodiac. Thy Daughters, the Atlantides, are the Hyades and Pleiades. Teach us the ability to change our ways that we may ascend the octave of the new aeon.
PRS. H: Who will be apprentice?
1st PRACTITIONER: I will! I long to expand my consciousness.
1st PRIEST: Describe these tarot cards from ancient Marseille.
APPRENTICE: The V card depicts “Le Pape” - the Fisher King. He is enthroned and is blessing 3 acolytes with uplifted right hand. With his left hand he holds the 7-jewelled sceptre of the Hyades. He wears the Triple Crown of Sovereignty over Hell, Earth and Heaven. The card marked XII seems in opposition. It is named "Le Pendu" and shows a heretic hung by his left leg from a cross-bar joining 2 trees. But when I reverse the card I see this is an Initiate! He stands on the grassy earth, his right leg crooked behind his left in the adept pose.
1st PRIEST: What do you make of these two representations?
APPRENTICE: I am taught that to become a Hierophant it may be necessary to reverse the established order.
PRS. H: You are accepted as apprentice.
1st PRIESTESS: To clarify this theme, we present you with our play: "Why they cut the Island in two", set on an Irish island in this present day.
PLAY: WHY THEY CUT THE ISLAND IN TWO
BELL. ENTER THE GODDESS BANBA IN SNAKE CROWN AND CELTIC ROBES.
BANBA: My friends, hear of what befell Banba Island from Banba herself! Forty years before Atlantis was submerged beneath the ocean, I rescued chosen young people from the coming catastrophe in my Ark. This contained, among the seeds of earth and sundry creatures, three young men and one hundred and fifty Maidens. These maidens became the Mothers of the Nations, which were named after them. Among these were Cypris, Gothia, Athenai, Germania and India. We landed first on this tiny island off the West coast of Ireland: then on Ireland itself. After the flood we spread over the wide earth! But after many invasions, this Isle became uninhabited, source of bitter dispute between two governments. As the second millennium is dawning, two important officials from these governments land in the tiny harbour.
EXIT. ENTER 2 MODERN DIRECTORS OF TOURISM HOLDING CLIPBOARDS.
1st DIR: My dear colleague, it is essential that we should collaborate. Up to now this island has been the venue of sea-birds, wild swans and one dolphin. But since this American folk singer's ridiculous song, "St. Banba singing to the Dolphins" has reached the top of the charts, it’s a tourist Mecca! Yet as both our Governments claim the island, neither of us can touch it. We can't even evict all these weirdos who've moved into caravans and caves.
2nd DIR: We have to take action! We of the south plan to create a St. Banba Theme Park, a feminine St. Francis - very politically correct - with a conservation image - dolphins in a tank "swans of Lyr" with clipped wings, and holograms of Banba's miracle, understanding the dolphin's singing.
1st DIR: That would appeal to the mass package tours. But we of the North wish to build a Royal Hotel - blow up rocks to make a golf course - deep sea fishing - shooting for the well-heeled punters - we might even net a Republican U.S. President!
THEY BOTH LAUGH.
2nd DIR: We're losing millions. What can we do?
1st DIR: You know what is the great peacemaker? Profit. How about persuading our government to cut the island in two? Then you get your Celtic theme park and we build our hotel, and we both evict the hippies!
2nd DIR: I'll shake hands on that!
THEY SHAKE HANDS. EXEUNT.
ENTER BANBA: So they resurrected me as a saint to make me pay my keep. Within a year the directors got their way. Their governments divided the island right down the middle with electric wire, and a check point. And they set about evicting my friends, the young men and women they called new age travellers. And that, my friends is what they proved to be ... (EXIT BANBA.)
ENTER NEW AGE TRAVELLERS, VERY TIRED.
1st TRAVELLER: The police are getting cranes to drag us out of our tree houses. Poor Conn was hanging down by one leg from a branch thirty feet up!
2nd TRAVELLER: Where can we go? Back to cardboard boxes in the city?
MUSIC. ENTER BANBA.
BANBA: My children, I am Banba of this island, known to many as Cesara. Behold, My ark shining in the sky like the moon! Within are all the seeds of earth. Come within it and we shall sail beyond the setting sun, to the Land of Heart's Desire.
DANCE. ALL LEAVE WITH BANBA, SAVE ONE TRAVELLER.
3rd TRAVELLER: I look before I leap! I'd rather drink on the dole than thirst on faery dew. (EXIT, HEAD BENT.)
BANBA: So each went to his own - the rich to the Royal Hotel, the package tourists to the Theme Park. But when the police searched for the travellers, all they could see was a flock of wild swans flying over the ocean to the West. But one swan stayed behind; its wings had been clipped.
BELL. END OF PLAY.
1st PRIEST: (TO APPRENTICE) What do you make of this play?
APPRENTICE: It shows me that to change the world one must change oneself. I would fly with the swans!
3rd PRIEST: To do so you need spiritual wings! To gain them you need to travel to Aquarius of the coming aeon.
THE WINDOW OF AQUARIUS
1st PRIESTESS: (ANOINTS EACH BROW) May spiritual flight be attained!
3rd PRIEST: Let us be seated in a circle, eyes shut. We feel a tingling in our brow centres. From this temple is a rainbow uniting us with the Temple of the Zodiac. We rise by this luminous pathway until we reach a hill dotted with many flowers. At the rainbow’s end rises a magnificent temple. We climb towards it and mount a flight of white steps. A soaring doorway is guarded by 2 gigantic male and female sphinxes, their wings rising to the stars. *** We pass through the doorway. *** The temple within is radiant with beams of coloured light coming from 12 windows.
3rd PRIESTESS: In the centre is an altar flanked by 4 Kerubs, amongst which is a winged angel looking towards the north-east. We approach the window in this direction surmounted by the Sign of Aquarius. We contemplate it. We see a winged Goddess holding a mighty urn, from which pours a stream of lifeforms, of which we can discern fishes, animals, plants, rocks, elementals, humans. A laughing God behind her draws power upon them with his trident. ***
3rd PRIESTESS: A sudden wind blows open the window and we gaze upon the stars of Aquarius, set in the sea of heaven.
TIR NA NOG OF AQUARIUS
3rd PRIEST: Behold the starry Urn that pours forth Fluvius Aquarii, the cascade! Within the Urn shines the Land of Ever-renewing Youth, Tir na Nog. This realm of joy is ruled by the Princess Scota of Egypt, her husband, Nel the Scythian and their son, Gaedel Glas.
“Nel went into Egypt with great valour
Till he reached powerful Pharaoh
Till he bestowed Scota, of no scant beauty,
The modest, nimble daughter of Pharaoh.
Scota bore a son to noble Nel,
From whom was born a perfect great race:
Gaedel Glas was the name of the man -
Green were his arms and his vesture.”
3rd PRIEST: As we gaze into the starry urn we see a land of exquisite beauty. Here are trees that both flower and bear fruit at the same time. Nothing dies. Every creature, both animal, bird and fish live forever in their true perfection. Among the faery hosts are radiant humans who have eaten of the apples of immortality.
3rd PRIESTESS: (TO APPRENTICE) Enter therein and discover why death came upon the planet earth. We shall be with you.
3rd PRIESTESS: Let us return from the Land of Youth. What have you discovered?
APPRENTICE: I was in a heavenly dream more real than earthly existence. Death came to earth because we chose the half, not the whole. To concentrate on one part of the universe excludes the rest. We are entrapped by believing in death because we deny that which is beyond our five-barred prison of the senses.
3rd PRIESTESS: You have gained understanding. Accept this sea shell. That which one protects becomes a prison.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us gaze upon the starry form of the Water-Bearer holding the urn. From this beautiful thing dart forth the Aquarids, glistening meteors.
HY BRASIL OF AQUARIUS
2nd PRIESTESS: In the region of the star Sadalsuud, known to astrologers as Fortuna Fortunarum, star of mighty destiny, shines Hy Brasil, Land of Heart's Desire! It is held within the heart of the Aquarian Goddess. The sphere is ruled by the Goddess Cesara and her Divine Consort, Fintan.
“Cessair, whence came She,
Her three men and fifty maidens with complexion.
A Tuesday She set forth, rough the story,
From the islands of Meroe.
Ten years was She in lofty Egypt
Along side the coast of wrought might:
Twenty days had She in an ark, without reproach,
Over the surface of the great Caspian sea.
Twenty days had She from Asia Minor,
A-sailing by that gorgeous alps:
For a space of nine days She went hither,
To the lofty corner of Spain.
Thence had She into noble Ireland
A-sailing of nine days from Spain.
Forty days of the rapid search was Ireland
Found before the Flood:
Cessair found it in its fair shape,
And the crew of Her canoe of rough hide.”
2nd PRIEST: Let us gaze upon the Land of Heart’s desire. Yet each of us will see a different country! For in the spiritual spheres life appears in different shapes, each relative to the seeking soul.
2nd PRIESTESS: (TO APPRENTICE) Enter this place and tell us if you achieve the goal of your heart. We shall accompany you.
2nd PRIEST: Let us return. (TO CANDIDATE.) Did you find your heart’s desire?
APPRENTICE: No, because I have no need of it! I realised that heaven reveals itself in such minute perfection in every particle of the cosmos, that immortality consists of ever increasing empathy. I took such joy in sharing others’ awareness – that joy of a butterfly – a darting hare – that at last I become united with all that is.
2nd PRIESTESS: You have attained your heart’s desire by being one with all hearts. Accept this feather. You have won your wings.
1st PRIESTESS: Let us gaze upon Magna Mater, Cesara, set forth in stars. From her matrix comes forth all that is.
VISION OF MAGNA MATER, CESARA
1st PRIEST: Friends, let us give thanks to the Goddess Cesara for what she reveals to us. *** We return to the temple through the Window of Aquarius. A wind shuts the window behind us. We leave the temple following a small stream which cascades down the hill from the Temple. *** We find ourselves once more in our own temple of Earth.
REPORTS ARE GIVEN. RAYS OF HOPE AND CREATIVITY ARE SENT FORTH. THE APPRENTICE, IF SUCCESSFUL IS GIVEN A SHELL AND FEATHER. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: “Lebor Gabala Erenn”, trans. MacAlister, Irish Texts Society, Educational Co. of Ireland. “The Tain”, trans. from Irish epic, Kinsella, Oxford University Press. “The Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt”, Durdin-Robertson, Cesara., "Star Names" , Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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