Olivia Robertson wrote: "My whole endeavour in our 'Dulce Domum' - Gentle Home - ceremony is to emphasise the continuance of the "dead" person in the next life, whatever their faith. It has been used and helps people to bear the fundamental attitude that soul and spirit are only functions of the brain and are no more - at death. Even witches when they honoured my brother's passing, only seemed to dwell on his living on in our memories! I think people are far less psychic these days owing to an over-emphasis on the left-material side of the brain, so atrophying the psychic senses. So I am proud that FOI has always emphasised that The Deities and the whole Company of Heaven are real and immortal. As Their offspring, we partake of this immortality, if only we claim Divine Mother (and Father). And our Spiritual Brothers and Sisters. I feel my role as Archpriestess is to affirm these truths in my own life." (personal correspondence, Jan. 2000)
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Panthea, Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess
Written by: Olivia Robertson
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4. Dulce Domum. The Soul Returns Home.
Funeral Ceremony and Committal
Oracle of the Goddess Isis
Priestess: Divine Isis, Who doth hold the Ankh, Sign of Life, have pity on our human weakness. We all fear death. There is no creature that will not fight for its life! The most terrible calamities that befall us are yet more acceptable than their ending through even the quickest death. We dread the loss of ourselves, our own consciousness, of all that we know. When we grieve for those who die, truly we fear for ourselves! Thou Who didst shed Thy tears for Thy dead husband Osiris, and Who brought Him to everlasting life, bring us true knowledge.
Oracle: Know that your very love of life, of your own selves, is a surety that you live forever! It is only the body that perishes. Therefore those who dread death the most are those who enjoy life the most! And in that very enjoyment is your salvation. If you see death as an unpredictable but inevitable disaster in the future, soon or far ahead, you naturally dread a sudden end to all you love, a stop to your own individual consciousness. But in verity you can experience your own immortality now! Eternity may be experienced through two passing seconds of earth time. You can awaken from this dream of worldly life into a greater reality. Only veils of ignorance and unconsciousness divide each one of you from your own Immortal Self. Hence death is sin: sin is ignorance. For when you wrongly think: "I am only the brain; I am the body with its senses!" you deny your true self through choosing that which is mortal.
Enjoy those delights that belong to the eternal spheres, such as the love and care of each other, of animals and plants: philosophy and religion; the practice of arts and crafts. Thus you will strengthen your spiritual body with the nectar and ambrosia of the Deities. You will learn to participate in heavenly life as your earthly body sleeps. Love, and you are in harmony with Heaven. Be truthful, and you drink of the Water of Life. Laugh, and you laugh with Jove! Weep with compassion, and you mingle your tears with Mine.
Remove then the deadening pall of gloom which stifles your earthly funeral obsequies! Death is for the ignorant. Immortality is for those who know the truth! Develop your psychic and spiritual gifts, so that not only will you recognise this "death" as the impostor it is, but you will help others to lose any fear, but rather look forward to participating in heavenly joys. Reunion with those you love is certain.
In your originality is your immortality, for nothing that is original can perish. It is an essential part of the cosmic scheme. Manifest your Divine Origin which is born from the Mother of All, Nuit, Whose children are immortal like onto Herself. Nourish then all good gifts in each person and each being, and you strengthen the harmony between the Divine Sphere of Heaven with its transient reflection which is this world. There is no death. Love is eternal. Osiris and I are One. So is it with us all.
On a white covered altar let there be 3 unlighted candles, a chalice of water, grain and burning incense. In the centre is a statuette of Isis or Ankh on stand which is veiled in black and an ankh on gold cord. Priestesses wear silver star crowns, Priests, white and silver headdresses, all white robes. Prs. of Isis carries sistrum, Pr. of Isis holds crook. Prs. of Mayet carries long black veil, Pr. of Hermes, the caduceus. Pr. of Anubis is in black. Companions are in white. All wear ankh pendants. Music: favourite music of departed friend or Richard Strauss’ “Death and Transfiguration” are suitable. If a coffin (casket) be in Temple, it is covered with a white or purple pall and adorned with foliage and flowers.
Shedding the Shadow
Prs. of Mayet: (offers incense) I offer incense to the Goddess Mayet. Thou who doth preside over the weighing of the heart at the Judgment of Osiris, bless and help our departed friend! My heart, My Mother, it was Thy heart that brought my heart into being! May there be nothing to resist my good name at Thy judgment, O Mayet, Who holdeth the feather of Truth. May there be no parting of me from Thee. Thou, My heart, art the Ka within my body which knitteth together and strengtheth my limbs. Mayest thou, heart of love given by my Mother, come forth to the place of happiness to which I am advancing.
Pr. of Anubis: (offers incense) I offer incense to the God Anubis. Guardian of the threshold between this world and the next, guide our friend through the mists which enshroud our earth like unto a veil! Lead her/him through the long tunnel that is the way from this shadowy world of Illusion to the many coloured land beyond!
Prs. of Mayet: In the Presence of Mayet, Goddess of Truth, let friends of our departed companion stand forth and testify as to her/his true worth!
Companions testify to the good qualities of the departed friend.
Priestess: Pilgrim of eternity, go forth from this world with our love and blessing!
Prs. of Mayet: (lights 1st candle, left) The light of good deeds done make a pathway for our friend through the veil which divides this world from the etheric plane. Rejoice! The body is cast forth as a garment disused. The soul journeys on.
Prs. of Isis: (shakes sistrum) Our friend learns to hear, to see, to feel, in a body of light. She/he rises to her/his feet and cometh forth by day! With gratitude for the vesture of earth, the body is returned to the Mother of All.
1st Com: Harken to the words of the Reverend Vale Owen, courageous pioneer of the spiritualist faith. “I speak for an angelic traveller on the other side. He tells us of a mother's vision. There were spirit lights round the death bed of a child. All did not proceed from us discarnate ones. Some of the illuminance was generated from the father and mother of the child. Both were very good people. Only as the child grew weaker, their faith grew more dim. The little one breathed deeply, and did not breathe again. Her spirit body had risen out of the body of flesh, and was almost free! Two woman Spirit Helpers took her in their arms. They roused her, and a small boy took her by the hand and smiled and kissed her and called to her merrily. Soon she smiled in answer and so, hand in hand, the two children went away and entered a happy home within a glade of trees.”
2nd Com: “Now when the last breath was taken, the two parents were about to fall weeping. But instead the mother, starting back, looked steadfastly at a place above the head of the bed. There she saw the spirit of her little one looking eagerly into the laughing eyes of a boy! He was clad in a cream-coloured tunic belted with gold. The boy had given her a beautiful spray of flowers. Slowly they went away, he talking and she smiling! Then there rose from the bedside a man and two women in radiant spirit robes who followed after the children into the lovely glade.”
The Fair Heaven
Prs. of Persephone: (offers incense) I offer incense to the goddess Persephone. Divine Persephone, Maid of flowers of spring, Queen of the Spirit World, Goddess of High Olympus, shine for our departed friend as Thou didst shine for the Initiates of Eleusis as the Shining One of Midnight. Lighten our darkness so that we too may have spiritual vision. Remembering the mourning for Thee by Thy Mother Demeter, take pity on those who mourn and bring them to knowledge of life after death! Grant also that our friend shall remember this life on earth, as a dream that has past. Give us joyful reunion now and in the hereafter.
Pr. of Hermes: (offers incense) I offer incense to the God Hermes. Psychopompos, Teacher of souls, who doth guide the pilgrim through the spheres by the light of wisdom and love, bring our friend to the astral sphere of joy and love and beauty. There may past and new friends be discovered again!
Prs. of Persephone: (lights 2nd candle, right) May the flame of wisdom and love illumine the pathway of our friend as she/he reaches the lovely astral plane! (she sprinkles water on veil) I offer this water to our friend. May the Water of Life bring back memory of many loves and the fruits thereof and give visions of the future.
3rd Com: Harken to the words of W.T. Stead, author, spiritualist, champion of oppressed women and children. He communicated through the hands of two mediums, after he was drowned through the sinking of the Titanic. He was last seen by mortal eye seated quietly in a lounge, reading, making no attempt to save himself from the doomed liner. "Of my actual passing from earth to spirit life, the first part was naturally an extremely discordant one; but from the time my physical life had ended, there was no longer that sense of struggle. My first surprise came when - what you would call ‘dead’ - I found I was in a position to help people! I was surprised to find a number of friends with me, people I knew had passed over years before. That was the first cause of my realising the great Change had taken place. There was just a moment of agitation and then the full and glorious realisation that all I had learnt was true! I was still so near the earth I could see everything that was going on - and I could help...”
4th Com: "...The end came and it was all finished with. It was like waiting for a liner to sail. We waited until all were aboard. The saved - saved. The dead - alive! It was a curious journey, that. We seemed to rise vertically into the air at terrific speed. As a whole we moved, as if we were on a very large platform, and this was hurled into the air with gigantic strength and speed; yet there was no feeling of insecurity. I cannot tell you how far from the earth we were when we arrived, but it was a gloriously beautiful arrival! It was like walking from your own English winter gloom into the radiance of an Indian sky. There, all was brightness and beauty, the prevailing light, of a bluish tint. Our arrival was greeted with welcomes from many old friends and relations. We had arrived at the Blue Island."
The Spirit Awakens
Prs. of Isis: (offers incense) I offer incense to the compassionate Isis who wipes the tears from the eyes of those who mourn. Thou who didst weep for Thy dead husband Osiris, Who searched for Him through many spheres of being, help us to be faithful to those we love! May we never forget them, but seek for them as Thou didst, and like thee find them! Thou who art reunited with Thy Twin Soul Osiris, and live in love and harmony with the Holy Deities of every faith, bring us from loneliness to the company of Blessed Spirits! As thou didst bring Osiris to everlasting life, bring us to remembrance of our immortality!
Pr. of Isis: (offers incense) I offer incense to the God Osiris. God of many lives, Who of thine own choosing descended to a body of earth, like unto a painted coffin, and who through Isis did rise from the dead into eternal life, help us to turn to the ways of Truth and Goodness. Bring our departed friend into such self-knowledge that she/he may gain the true judgment that springs from understanding and compassion.
Pr. of Osiris: (lights 3rd candle, centre) May the Star of Isis draw the soul of our friend to Spiritual Awakening.
Pr. of Osiris: (places Ankh with gold cord on veil) Let the Key of Life open for our friend the Sphere of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom!
Prs. of Isis shakes sistrum, she unveils statuette or ankh. (if friend be a woman) Prs. of Isis faces Companions, arms upraised.
Prs. of Isis: In the name of Isis I declare that this Daughter of the Goddess is (Name) Isis risen! She liveth forever.
(If friend be a man) Pr. of Osiris faces Coms, crook held forth. Prs. of Isis shakes sistrum.
Pr. of Osiris: In the Name of Osiris I declare that this Son of the Goddess is (Name) Osiris Risen! He liveth forever.
5th Com: Harken to the words of Harriet Martineau, speaking from the other side of life through the medium, Mrs. Susan Horn. Harriet was on earth a philosopher and reformer who rejected belief in survival after death: "There is a force latent in man which appears like an electric light issuing from the body... respecting such matters I only groped in the dark while on earth. I would fain describe the sensations I felt upon closing my eyes on earth, expecting to sink back into utter darkness and annihilation, - when I found myself conscious in an atmosphere of light, and in the midst of a landscape of wonderful beauty! In the distance rose the lofty pinnacles, towers and faint outlines of a vast city; which sparkling in the morning light appeared like alabaster, agate and pearl!"
6th Com: "The earnest questioners of immortality on earth, the humanitarians, and socialistic reformers I found here associated. They dwell in an Arcadian community amidst flowers and fountains and cultivated fields, each adding his quota of work and knowledge of the whole."
Prs. of Isis: (shakes sistrum) The holy time has come when we shall keep tryst with our friends in the other world. We shall, with the Blessings of the Deities, accompany our friend on her/his transition.
Prs. of Persephone: Hear the words of Aeon, Bard of Eire:
“For many a one a tryst has kept
With the immortal while he slept,
Woke unremembering, went his way;
Life seemed the same from day to day
Till the predestined hour came,
A hidden will leapt up in flame,
And through its deed the risen soul
Strides on self-conquering to its goal.”
Soft Music, all lights are put out save the three candles.
Prs. of Persephone: Let us visualise the Ankh of Isis, Sign of Life, shining in the midst of us... with the blessing of the Deities, we accept any vision given to us of our friends in spirit world.
Spirit Communion in silence. ***
We see our departed friend bathed in the Light of the Ankh, surrounded by spirit helpers and other loving ones on the other side. We now leave her/him in the living care of the Priesthood of the Inner Spheres. We ourselves receive their help that our faith become knowledge; our hope, certainty. Slowly we return to our bodies, blessed and strengthened for our life's work.
The Priesthood give thanks to Deities.
Pr. Of Osiris: (sprinkles earth on coffin) In the Name of Isis, we commit this body of earth to the care of the Earth Mother. As Osiris entered the body of clay, so did He through Isis rise from the dead.
Prs. of Isis: (sprinkles grain on coffin) In the Name of Isis, may the soul of our beloved friend return with joy to her/his heavenly Home.
Omnes: So mote it be.
Pr. of Osiris: (sprinkles earth on coffin) In the name of the Winged God Horus who rose as the sun at dawn from the body of his Mother Isis, we commit this body to the Fire Goddess. Osiris is risen as Horus!
Prs. of Isis: (sprinkles grain on coffin) In the Name of Isis, Mother of the Sun, may this soul arise as Horus from the ashes and return to her/his Heavenly Home.
Omnes: So mote it be.
Prs. and Pr. give thanks to Isis and Osiris.
End of Rite.
SOURCES: “The Book of the Dead”, Budge, Kegan Paul. “The Outlands of Heaven”, the Rev. G. Vale Owen, Hutchinson. “The Blue Island,” W. T. Stead, through Pardoe Woodman & Estelle Stead, Psychic Book Club. “The Next World,” Mrs. Susan Horn, James Burns, 1890. “Song and its Fountains,” A.E., MacMillan.
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