FOI Online Liturgy
Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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9. The Tablets of Fate
ORACLE OF INANNA
INVOCATION: I invoke the Goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Celestial Mother, Goddess of Love, the Holy One. Thou who holdeth the Tablets of Destiny, help us to control our Fate!
ORACLE: My friend, you list all these titles because you are in awe of me! I was a primeval Deity long before the walls of Babylon were built. Women ruled under my sovereignty. You were upset when you read of my cruelty to my husband Dumuzi, when I condemned him to hell for refusing to abase himself before me.
But I did not inflict on Dumuzi what I had not endured myself! I descended into the hell of my Sister Ereshkigal before Dumuzi and the other men whom I later dispatched there. I managed to ascend to heaven: it was not so easy for the others! Truly, you can never express the divinity within you unless you have experienced hell. Those who follow my path are the solitary ones who struggle to attain the power of ruling their own lives. Through saving themselves first, they are enabled later to save others. There are those who follow the gentler path of my sister Ishtar, who descended into the nether world to rescue her imprisoned lover Tammuz. This is the way of saving oneself by first saving others.
Those who follow me do not escape hell - they find themselves there! And they discover hell is not a place; it is their own state of mind. Here are those caught up in the war of Opposites. They struggle in ever-repeating battles - religious, national, personal. The more such victims of duality concentrate on fighting evil, the more they are enmeshed in contradictions. The Divine Self is helpless while its projection, the soul, is lost in fantasies of war, divorce, jealousy, anger, power struggles. Such fantasies become more and more sinister; the entrapped soul, less and less real. Only by concentrating on reality: love, happiness, wisdom - can such souls escape from such shadowy games.
I banish no-one to hell, nor bring any to heaven! It is you yourselves who can learn to create your own destiny. When you call me, I can help you to do so.
PRIESTESSES WEAR GOLD TIARAS, SCARLET AND GOLD ROBES AND CARRY SCEPTERS. PRIESTS, GOLD HEADDRESSES, BLUE AND GOLD ROBES AND CARRY CROOKS. WOMEN PRACTS WEAR GOLD CIRCLETS AND RED ROBES. MEN PRACTS, GOLD HEADRESSES AND BLUE ROBES. ON A GOLD-DRAPED ALTAR IS A SEVEN FOLD CANDELABRA, A SILVER BOWL OF WATER, BURNING INCENSE AND 2 CLAY TABLETS, ONE MARKED WITH THE SIGNS OF SATURN IN CAPRICORN, THE OTHER WITH VENUS IN TAURUS, AND CARDS VIII AND XVII FROM THE MARSEILLE TAROT. MUSIC MAY BE PLAYED THROUGHOUT.
PR. HIEROPHANT: Fellow practitioners of the art of magic, we are assembled to learn how to know and control our destiny!
PRS. HIEROPHANT: (MAKES SIGN OF TAURUS AND OFFERS INCENSE) I invoke the Goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Celestial Mother, Holder of the Tablets of Destiny - aid us to create our own fate.
PR. HIEROPHANT: (MAKES SIGN OF CAPRICORN AND OFFERS INCENSE) I invoke the God Enki, Watcher of the Universe, he who subjects all to the laws of Destiny. Teach us how to obey the Divine Decrees!
1st PRIESTESS: Has any here the courage to face knowledge of their Fate?
PRACTITIONER: I have. I wish to create my own future by obtaining foresight.
1st PRIEST: So be it. (SHOWS TAROT CARDS) Describe these 2 cards which depict that which was, is and is to be.
PRACTITIONER: Number VIII is entitled "La Justice" and shows a crowned woman wearing a rope around her neck. She has two pillars behind her throne. In her right hand she holds a sword pointed upwards: and in her left, the Scales of Justice. Card XVII shows a naked woman kneeling by a stream, a garter on her left leg, it is entitled "L' Etoile". She holds 2 vessels of water. With her right hand she irrigates dry land, bringing plants to grow: with her left hand she replenishes the stream from her vessel. Above her are 7 stars - I assume the Hyades because the greatest is red and gold - Aldebaran.
1st PRIESTESS: What do you read from these pictures?
PRACTITIONER: Both of their numbers add up to"8", of balance. The Goddess of Justice rewards and punishes with discrimination.
PRS. HIEROPHANT: We accept this interpretation. You are now apprentice. To elucidate further, we present our play: "Miss Universe saves the planet", set in a middle-eastern country of today.
PLAY: HOW MISS UNIVERSE SAVED THE PLANET
ENTER MAGA AND MAGUS IN MIDDLE EASTERN COSTUMES.
MAGA: Who would not know their fate? In ancient Sumer the God of Wisdom, Enki, guarded the lofty and untouchable "Me's", the hundred Tablets of Destiny, which contained the Divine Decrees of Fate. Now the mighty Goddess Inanna craved for these tablets, because she wished to make her city Erech the hub of Sumerian civilisation.
MAGUS: Hear words from clay tablets of old: “The Maid Inanna alone has directed her step to the Absu, give her to eat Barley Cake with butter, pour for her cold water that freshens the heart, give her to drink beer in the face of the lion, at the holy table, the Table of Heaven.”
MAGA: And in Absu the God Enki was enchanted by the beauty of Inanna and he gave a great banquet for her. And when he was overcome with wine he exclaimed: "By the Name of my Power, to Holy Inanna, my Daughter, I shall present the Divine Decrees!" And forthwith he gave her the 100 Tablets of Fate.
MAGUS: But in the morning, when the effects of the wine had worn off, Enki repented that he had given Inanna the Tablets of Fate. Inanna had already departed in her boat. And Enki was forsworn, because he sent armed men after her to seize the tablets. They pursued her with every ordeal.
MAGA: But with her own wit and the loyalty of her vizier Ninshubur, Inanna escaped to Erech. And lo, she created a mighty civilisation there with the wisdom she had won from the 100 Tablets of Fate. History repeats itself. Let us visit a Middle-Eastern country torn apart between modern ways and ancient custom.
ENTER WOMEN IN JACKETS, LEGGINGS AND BOOTS.
AYESHA: I declare our meeting of the Global Legion of Militant Women open. Leila, let us have your report.
LEILA: (READING) Our disruption of the sexist beauty contest was only partially successful! But we did manage to throw mud and rotten tomatoes at some of those "Queens"!
ENTER ABDUL: (IN ARAB DRESS) Ayesha my dear, I have news ....
AYESHA: (FURIOUS) How dare you interrupt our Women Only Meeting - even if you are President ...
ABDUL: My dear wife - you are all ruined! The fundamentalists have seized control. In order to remain in power, I have been forced to rescind all the progressive decrees I have made on your behalf! Once more, there will be mutilation of our little daughters, stoning to death of adulterous wives - your total subjection to men!
AYESHA: We will fight with the guerrillas! We will make civil war.
ABDUL: You will never win freedom through bloodshed. Most women will not kill their sons and lovers. Let me return with my cabinet and we may work out a compromise.
AYESHA: For this once - you can bring men among us.
AYESHA: What can we do? We won't be permitted to leave the country - our own women, friends and family will return to the veil - they are either stupid or cowardly.
LEILA: Dearest Ayesha, I know what crushes us. It is division. Let us no more be "Women Only!" But much worse is this gulf between our own sex. I have invited new friends - do not reject them!
LEILA INTRODUCES MISS UNIVERSE AND A GALAXY OF BEAUTY QUEENS IN FULL REGALIA.
MISS UNIVERSE: Ladies, I can solve your problems!
AYESHA: (OUTRAGED) You! My husband's mistress! You are an immoral woman!
MISS UNIVERSE: (CALMLY) Naturally. That is how I control your husband. I can give him the courage to stand up to these fundamentalists.
1st BEAUTY QUEEN: I influence the flow of oil revenue through the Minister of Finance. Nothing can be achieved without money.
2nd BEAUTY QUEEN: Where are you without an army? The Commander in Chief worships me!
3rd BEAUTY QUEEN: I am the Holy One's favourite wife! If these men defy us we can manipulate the tabloid press and television here and abroad, to destroy them utterly.
AYESHA: Your sort has never bothered about women's rights before, I suppose you don't need to - but why now?
LEILA: They say some of you make a thousand a day modelling. What can we give you, on our meagre housekeeping money and low wages?
MISS UNIVERSE: You can give us something "our sort" have never had and always longed for. Respectability!
FIRST BEAUTY QUEEN: We want to be invited to receptions to meet the Queen of England as equals.
2nd BEAUTY QUEEN: And the First Lady of America.
3rd BEAUTY QUEEN: And women clergy on equal terms.
AYESHA: (THOUGHTFULLY) You've convinced us that mud and tomato throwing has been a big mistake ... But how can we make you respectable?
MISS UNIVERSE: Simple. Invite us to be members of the Global Legion of Militant Women.
LEILA: And in return you could help us to create our own image - with fashion design - make-up – diet.
MILITANT WOMEN CONFER.
AYESHA: We accept your terms. We invite you to join our Legion.
MISS UNIVERSE: (ASSUMES THE DIGNITY OF A GODDESS) My daughter, you have chosen well! Know that I am no less than the Goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Arbiter of Fate! When you turned from me, you lost all. Now you accept me I can restore your planet to abundant life!
ENTER MEN: (IN ARAB DRESS) We hail Inanna, Goddess of Love!
ALL WOMEN: Blessed is Inanna, Goddess of Justice!
MEN AND BOTH SORTS OF WOMEN UNITE IN A SPIRAL DANCE.
END OF PLAY.
1st PRIEST: What does this play teach you?
APPRENTICE: We all spring from the Divine Source, so we cannot live divided from each other.
1st PRIESTESS: We accept your answer. To realise the harmony of justice and compassion, you need to make a magical journey to the constellation of Taurus.
THE WINDOW OF TAURUS
3rd PRIESTESS: Let us be seated in a circle, eyes shut. We see before us a hill surmounted by the Temple of the Zodiac, surrounded by a myriad of stars. We ascend the hill *** we enter the Temple through the mighty sphinx gateway. *** In the centre is the perpetual flame on an altar guarded by 4 Kerubim, the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle and the Angel. There are 12 stained-glass windows in this temple. We approach the Window of Taurus in the South-East.
3rd PRIEST: The window depicts a red-haired Goddess seated on a white bull emerging from the sea. Descending from the stars are 14 maidens who bathe in the ocean. Suddenly a sharp wind throws the window open. We are faced with the constellation of Taurus.
PARADISE OF HURSAG
3rd PRIESTESS: (TO APPRENTICE) Gaze upon the 7 stars of the Hyades, in V formation - 7 of the 14 Atlantides maidens. Within their aetheric sphere is the mountain of Hursag, Paradise of Creation. Ninurta created the mountain to save his people from the flooding of the Tigris. Hear the ancient words written on tablets: "Behold now, everything on earth rejoiced afar at Ninurta. The Lord made mourning disappear from the land, he made happy the spirits of the Gods. Because of his Mother's great joy at his great and heroic deeds, Ninurta addressed her: ‘O Lady, O Ninmah, because for my sake you would enter the matchless land, the hill which I have set up, let its name be Hursag, and you be its queen.'”
3rd PRIEST: (TO APPRENTICE) In this magical world ruled by Ninmah and Ninurta, only those who do great deeds are admitted. Pass through the window, if you dare. We shall follow.
3rd PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APPRENTICE) What did you discover?
APPRENTICE: I always thought Paradise was a place of ease, with no work, no passion, no laws and no choices. I learnt the opposite - that I need work, strict rules and choice as to whether I obey them!
3rd PRIEST: You have passed the test! You find the tablet of Saturn and Capricorn in your hand.
PARADISE OF DILMUN
2nd PRIEST: Look upon the Pleiades, the other 7 Atlantides maidens. Within their magical orbit is the Paradise of Dilmun, land of the living, the pure, the bright. The lovers Enlil and Ninlil preside over this lovely haven. Hear the instructions which the Goddess Nunbarshegunu gave to her daughter, the maid Ninlil, to find love.
2nd PRIESTESS: "In the pure stream, woman, bathe in the pure stream, Ninlil. Walk by the bank on the stream Nunbirdu. The bright-eyed, the Lord, the great Mountain Father Enlil will see you, will forthwith embrace you, kiss you!" And Ninlil obeyed her mother with joy. And Enlil saw her and embraced and kissed her. Theirs is the Paradise of Love and Joy and Beauty. (TO APPRENTICE) Rise to the Pleiades! We shall follow.
2nd PRIESTESS: Let us return. (TO APPRENTICE) What happened to you?
APPRENTICE: Work and laws and thought whirl around the wheel's circumference, but love and peace are at the still centre.
2nd PRIEST: You have passed the test. In your hand is the tablet of Venus and Taurus. With your two tablets you will be both guide and be guided. This is your Destiny. Let us contemplate a Vision of the Goddess Inanna shining from the constellation of Taurus.
VISION OF INANNA
1st PRIEST: Let us return to the Temple of the Zodiac through the window of Taurus. *** We leave the Temple through the sphinx gateway *** we reach our own earthly temple, feeling both purposeful and serene!
REPORTS. RAYS OF WISDOM AND LOVE ARE SENT FORTH. THE APPRENTICE, IF DEEMED SUCCESSFUL IS GIVEN THE TWO TABLETS. THANKS ARE GIVEN TO THE DEITIES.
Sources: "Mythologies of the Ancient World", Doubleday-Anchor. "Middle Eastern Mythology". Hooke, Pelican. "The Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt," Durdin-Robertson. "Star Names", Allen, Dover. Marseille Tarot Deck, B.P. Grimauld, 1740, Paris.
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