FOI Online Liturgy
Melusina, Life Centres of the Goddess
By: Olivia Robertson
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8. Unfolding Wings
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS ANAHITA
PRIEST. We invoke Thee, Ardvi Sura Anahita, the high, the powerful, the undefiled. Thou Who has descended from Asman of the Stars, come to us! Thou Heavenly Spring from which all life flows, bring us spiritual wings, that we may reach Heaven of eternal bliss.
ORACLE. They who aspire to the Light of Suns must descend into the black earth! It is from the depths that the sacred Life Force springs. From darkness cometh the Fire of the God Ahura Mazda. We twain spring from Eternal Deity, Zirvan, Who is beyond all opposites: space and time; motion and stillness; day and night; and in Whom is no evil. In Zirvan evil is transmuted by My healing waters into good.
Many spirits aspire to reach the stars from which I spring! But it is delusion to think that pilgrim souls may ascend to the Heavens without first passing planetary initiation. There are countless planets that circle the stars, schools where the souls of all creatures learn through experience. There is no short way. You may help each other and I may help you when called upon, but the price of individuality is dedicated work.
I do not come to humanity with high-flown talk of The Light. I ask you to stoop and clean yourselves in My pure springs. Your souls need cleansing as well as your bodies! You do this by banishing evil from your minds. New inspiration can then flow through you without hindrance.
My two lower wings sweep through the abyss. My two centre wings bring about creation. My two higher wings draw spirits to the stars. These wings spring from the heart of love. For what good is flight without a destination? To attain spiritual wings you need to discover your own true role in the divine plan. However humble, your part is essential: you have within yourselves the essence of Zirvan, both light and darkness. Find your true way, and you will gain the wings to bring you to your goal! But remember, the bird needs its nest, and after the spirit's ecstasy of flight, you need the darkness of My folded wings to bring you peace.
Priestesses wear gold tiaras and carry gold wands: Priests, high gold headdresses and gold staffs. Women companions wear gold circlets and Men companions, blue headdresses and Omnes wear blue and gold robes. On blue draped altar are 6 white candles, a silver bowl of water, burning incense and 2 black feathers, 2 grey feathers and 2 white feathers. Music may be played throughout. Stravinsky's "Firebird" suite is relevant.
PR. HIEROPHANT. Fellow Companions who seek to awaken the Wings Chakra, know that this shining wheel of light is below and behind the Heart Centre. It is arbiter of the Breath of Life, the balancing power that circulates the heart's fire throughout all spheres.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. The Rishis of India describe this Manasapuja lotus as having eight red petals. Its jewelled altar is the seat of Ishta-Deva and Ishta-Devi, God and Goddess of Wisdom. The lotus contains the Kalpa fruit tree, domain of sweet-voiced birds. The Devotee is instructed to meditate upon this lotus through the Holy Breath. And truly, without the wisdom of the heart, love may be drowned in compassion for others, without the means of alleviating sorrow! It was through the rhythmic winnowing wings of Isis that Osiris was restored to life.
PR. HIEROPHANT. To the Persian Magi the circulating force that flows through the spine was termed Fravashi. Its power was conducted by the Fravashis, winged elemental Beings. For the life force cannot be restricted: it must move or become polluted. The Goddess Anahita descended from the Heaven of Asman to bring Her own divine Breath to earth. Her breath flows like streams of water throughout all beings, bringing ever-renewing life.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. (offers incense - she makes the sign of Aquarius with her wand) I invoke Ardvi Sura Anahita, the Holy, the life-giver! Harken to Her words: "To whom shall I cleave? Who cleaveth unto Me? Who is of goodwill to Me? To Those who love Me I bring life increasing, wide-expanding, health-giving gifts." Divine Anahita, bring us inspiration, creativity and renewal.
PR. HIEROPHANT. (offers incense and makes the sign of Mercury with his staff.) I invoke the God Ahura Mazda! Thus spake Ahura Mazda to the Magus Zoroaster: "I am the Light of Creation. I am the Discerner. I am the most beneficent Spirit. My Name is the Wise One. I ordain Asha, Universal Law. My Name is He Who doeth good for Eternity". Endow us with wisdom, just discernment and knowledge of Asha the Law.
1st MAGUS. (presents candidate who is robed in white.) This candidate seeks to unfold spiritual wings! So may communication be won through all spheres of being.
PR. HIEROPHANT. Are you willing to undergo the Initiation of Mercury?
CAN. I am willing.
PRS. HIEROPHANT. So mote it be. Let a Mystery Play be enacted. From a tale by the poet Firdusi intuition may awaken.
HOW THE WHITE-HAIRED HERO
WON THE BLACK-HAIRED PRINCESS.
3 Strokes of a Gong. Enter Maga.
MAGA. Alas! The palace of our good King Sama of Persia is filled with lamentation! The rejoicings when our Queen gave birth to a prince has been transformed to misery.
Enter lamenting ladies.
1st LADY. It is true that the King's son and heir has a face as beautiful as the sun, and his every limb is perfect as befits a prince. But, O horrible! Who can describe his hair!
2nd LADY. (weeping) He has hair as white as an old man's!
3rd LADY. Terrified by this evil omen, the King commanded that his weird son should at once be exposed on a distant mountain, and there left to die.
Enter weeping Queen.
QUEEN. On my knees I supplicated for the life of my son. I offered to dye his hair with walnut juice or indigo! But my husband, ever religious, declared he would not, nor indeed could not, cheat the Gods. So he ordered a soldier to tear my baby from my arms, and carry him to the snows of a mountain far from our land.
1st LADY. Doubtless the baby has already perished, either torn to pieces by the jaws of hungry bears, or by the icy snows.
All exit weeping.
MAGUS. But the Gods are more merciful than men. Know that a weird bird, the Simurgh, part peacock, lion, griffin and dog, took pity on the child and carried him to her own warm nest on the summit of Mount Elburz.
MAGA. Reared by this kindly Simurgh, the child grew to be a man like a tall cypress; his breast was like a bill of silver, his waist like a reed. As the years went by, the King repented of his evil deed, especially because the Gods gave him no more offspring. Encouraged by his wife, he sought for their son. The Simurgh, observing the King's penitence, restored him his son and the King rejoiced, despite the youth's hair, and named him Zal.
MAGUS. Later, while travelling in Kabul, Prince Zal stayed with Mihrab its king. One day an old woman took him aside and told him of Mihrab's daughter, Rudabeh, who was as beautiful as the sun! To guard such beauty, her father kept her veiled and concealed in a tower.
Enter Zal and old woman.
OLD WOMAN. The princess is a silver cypress filled with colours and perfumes, a rose and jasmine from head to foot! Her features pour wine and her hair is all of amber! Her body is moulded of rubies and other jewels, and the tresses of her hair are like a coat of mail made of musk. Yet tears pour down her cheeks because of her cruel imprisonment.
ZAL. My heart is filled with love for this misfortunate angel! I offer my life to rescue her!
Exit Zal - Enter Princess and same old woman.
OLD WOMAN. Another hero has fallen in love with you from your very description! Such is the power of poetry. He is as strong and beautiful as a cypress - but alas, he is a veritable freak, for he has hair as white as a ghost's!
PRINCESS. (Laughing) I would see so peculiar a creature! I am sickened by the professed love of jet-haired princes creeping around my tower singing endless sentimental songs. I would value a hearty laugh in this prison. Summon him to me this night of the full moon, when my father's spies will not be lurking here.
OLD WOMAN. O fortunate young man! The Princess summons you to the foot of her tower, that she may gaze upon thee this very night!
MAGA. And Zal did as the Princess commanded and stood in the light of the full moon beneath her window. And though all had rejected him because of his white hair, he stood proudly bare-headed.
Enter Princess and gazes at Zal.
PRINCESS. O rapture beyond expression! What Angel is here, with an aureole of shining light about his head? Surely he is the Moon God himself! I shall let down my hair, so that he may climb up it and so reach my chamber.
MAGUS. So the Princess plaited her night-black hair and lowered it from her window. And Zal climbed up it, and soon they were in each other's arms. And from their union shall come forth the Amesha Spenta, the Winged Ones of the coming golden age!
END OF MYSTERY PLAY.
1st MAGA. (to Can.) What did you make of this story?
CAN. At first I laughed at the prejudice against an Albino! I notice that the prince was exposed on a mountain because his white hair was thought hideous: whereas the princess was imprisoned because her black hair was regarded as beautiful. If one applies this story to skin colour, it seems more serious. I would like to think about it. Is white good and black evil? Or the other way round? Can the union of both bring a new creation?
3rd MAGUS. Because you are willing to think about this, you are accepted as a candidate. In order to explore further, you need to travel in your spiritual body to the planet Mercury. Let us be seated in a circle.
All sit in circle. 3rd MAGA anoints each brow with water.
3rd MAGA. May the waters of Anahita flow through you with inspiration.
1st MAGUS. We need to regulate our breathing. Hold your forefingers against your thumbs so that you can count your heart-beats through your pulses. Now breathe in to the count of six. Hold the breath for six beats. Breathe out for six beats. Hold for six beats. Repeat this six times, counting with your fingers.
Breathing in silence.
1st MAGA. To stimulate your wings centre, place the palms of your hands firmly on the front of your shoulders. Rotate your arms backwards in a circular motion. Return to original position. Do this six times.
BUILDING THE SUN CHARIOT.
3rd MAGUS. To reach Mercury, we need to create a sun chariot, Hvare Khshaeta, through dance. Let us through movement form a shining sphere around us!
Dance to create sun sphere.
Let us be seated, eyes closed. Our Guide appears before us, Khwareno of the Yazata Spirits of the Air. He makes a sign with his winged staff and our sphere rises rapidly into the sky. We are protected by rain clouds. There are thunders and lightning and we break the space-time barrier *** We shoot past Mah the Moon *** Muhr, our sun, is growing larger. To our right is Sirius, the Holy Star Tistrya, and on the left is Gemini. Suddenly the stars are blotted out by a black and red planet. We have reached Mercury! We face two giant black cones that stand before a crater hundreds of miles wide, seething with molten lava. The gateway is guarded by Yazatas of Fire.
THE ABODE OF MURO THE HOLY.
3rd MAGA. Khwareno tells us that we are facing the Abode of Muro the Holy. It is presided over by the Mother of All, Astratereta and Her Son, Vispatauryi, Who determine that which shall be. Their progeny, the Amesha Spenta, Their winged children, await their birth on earth.
3rd MAGUS. What a strange scene faces us within these depths! We see the shadowy forms of those who are to come. They are in every form, but all are winged. Here are Kerubim: winged lions, eagles, scorpions and humans; white-winged horses, unicorns and dragons. As the imagination creates in the mind, so shall it be! (to Can.) Are you prepared to enter the fiery heart of Mercury, and so awaken your spiritual being, Daema?
CAN. With Anahita's help, I am.
3rd MAGA. Let us return! (to Can.) What have you found?
CAN. I have found hope and renewal! Old evils on earth will be transmuted by alchemy into better life.
3rd MAGUS. You have passed the first trial of Mercury. You feel warmth between your shoulder blades. Khwareno gives you two black feathers. Our fire chariot is now rising rapidly through the substance of Mercury which is composed of iron on the physical level. To us it is grey mist. We reach the planet's surface which is half white with heat, half dark and cold. Though to earthly eyes it is a volcanic landscape pitted with craters, to astral vision it is a realm of beauty.
THE PARADISE OF HUKAINYA.
2nd MAGA. Companions, we have reached the Paradise of Hukainya! We face two soaring pylons, one white, the other black. They are guarded by Yazatas of Air. This realm is ruled by the Goddess Ashi Vanguhi of Intuition, and the God Asha Vahista of Wisdom. It is in this holy place that the war between Ormazd of Light and Ahrirnan of Darkness is resolved through Their union with Their parent Deity, Zurvan Who is Eternity. Behold golden palaces of learning, shaded by trees of Life bearing fruits of inspiration, communication and understanding. Simurghs and other far-flying birds carry seeds of the fruit throughout the cosmos. (to Can.) Are you willing to earn Asha, the Divine Law, and so attain Vohu Manu, the Spirit of Wisdom?
CAN. With Anahita's blessing, I am willing.
2nd MAGA. Khwareno tells you that you may enter.
2nd MAGUS. Let us return. (to Can.) What have you learnt?
CAN. I now know that any ideal, however noble, becomes insanity when it is carried to extremes. I am learning to reconcile the opposites.
2nd MAGUS. You have passed the second trial of Mercury. Khwareno gives you two grey feathers.
1st MAGA. Our chariot is rising into outer space! We see a mighty triangle formed between Sirius, Gemini and Mercury. Khwareno tells us that within the orbit of Mercury is Asman, Heaven of the Holy Ones Who dwell in everlasting bliss. Yet the entrance to it is a white stone gateway half the height of a man. Before it stands Sraosa with outspread wings, who is Angel of Divine Worship.
THE HEAVEN OF ASMAN.
1st MAGUS. The Heaven of Asman is presided over by Anahita and Ahura Mazda. (to Can.) Are you willing to stoop and pass through the gateway and enter Asman, there to attain Mastim, Illumination?
Dance to dissolve chariot. Reports are shared and radiations of harmony are sent forth. The Candidate, if deemed successful, is presented with 6 feathers. Thanks are given to the Deities.
CAN. With Anahita's blessing. I am.
1st MAGUS. Khwareno tells you to enter.
1st MAGA. Let us return. (to Can.) What have you discovered?
CAN. I have found that wisdom of the Winged Ones springs from the heart of love. Though I am small, I am loved by the Mighty Deities. And so I love that which is smaller than myself, even this starling which has perched on my wrist!
1st MAGA. Friend, you have passed the third trial of Mercury. Khwareno presents you with two white feathers. Behold! We see the divine forms of Ahura Mazda and Anahita before us, enveloping the sky. Their starry bodies of Light and Darkness permeate indigo space and from Them come forth all things. * * * But Their bodies begin to resolve into constellations, and we see again Sirius, Gemini and Mercury. Khwareno bids us to return to our chariot, bringing with us our spirit wings! We enter * * * and we speed past the sun and our moon, half in light, half in shadow * * * And we feel these two forces in perfect harmony within ourselves. We reach earth * * * and our chariot sinks into our Temple and lands as softly as a bird upon the floor. And we know that one day this earth will be a resting place for those who will soar far and wide in spirit flight.
1st MAGUS. Khwareno bids us dissolve our chariot through dance.
End of Rite.
Sources: "The Zend-Avesta", sacred books of the East series, Darmesteter, Delhi. "New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology", Hamlyn. "The Concise Handbook of Astronomy", Ridpath, New Orchard.
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