Posted by: Isidora | January 13, 2010

Entering the Temple of Isis

This is the Friday night opening ritual for SunFest XXII, a Celebration of Isis, the Radiant Goddess.

Temple Arrangement & Ritual Tools: Incense & Nile water placed at the altar. 7 cups, 7 censers, firestarters. All priest/esses have sistra with them.

Becoming Blessed

All enter and take a place in the circle.

Ps Isis: Let us prepare to enter into the Temple of Isis, the House of Isis, where the Great Goddess dwells.

Let us stand and face the shrine of the Goddess. Cross your hands upon your heart and once again become aware of the Flame of Isis we ignited yesterday and which beats there. Say, “I am a Child of Isis. I am blessed by the Goddess.” Repeat this softly to yourself and to Isis until you know that it is true. Take your time. We are in no rush.

All: I am a Child of Isis. I am blessed by the Goddess. (Repeating.)

Ps Isis: Children of Isis, my sisters and brothers, let us be purified and consecrated for this rite.

Purification & Consecration

Purification Priest/ess comes to center, standing between the lotus pond and the temple (where s/he can be seen by group) and makes Sign of the Wings of Isis.

P P/s:  Isis is all things and all things are Isis.

S/he enters the Shrine, takes up vessel. S/he returns to where group can see her, and elevates the vessel. 6 Priest/esses of the Ways get their cups, receive water from vessel, then spread out into the circle.

P P/s: (To group) Help us to charge this water with the purifying powers of Isis. In a moment, we will ask you to join us in chanting “Iset Mu,” which means “Isis of Water,” and send purifying energy into the vessel nearest you.

(To the Purifying Powers) O, You Souls of Night, Water Dwellers, Purifiers, You of the Pure Water from the Sycamore Tree of Isis, I have come for You. By the Blood, by the Power, by the Magic of Isis, establish yourselves within these vessels!

Vibrate with me now…(vibrating into chalice) ISET MU!

All: (Vibrating) ISET MU!

All Priest/esses: Isis is pure. The temple is pure. The temple is pure. I am pure. I am pure with the Purity of Isis. I am pure with the Purity of the Goddess.

Ps Isis: We’ll all be repeating this formula of purification. Priest/ess, will you teach us the words?

P P/s:  I will. Repeat after me. Isis is pure. The temple is pure.

All: Isis is pure. The temple is pure.

P P/s: The temple is pure. I am pure.

All: The temple is pure. I am pure.

P P/s: I am pure with the purity of Isis.

All: I am pure with the purity of Isis.

P P/s:  I am pure with the purity of the Goddess.

All:  I am pure with the purity of the Goddess.

Beginning wherever they are, all priest/esses circumambulate the temple, sprinkling ritualists and chanting.

All:  (Chanting) Isis is pure. The temple is pure. The temple is pure. I am pure. I am pure with the Purity of Isis. I am pure with the Purity of the Goddess. (Repeating as needed.)

P P/s: (When all complete the circuit) By the Magic of Isis, it is so.

All: By the Magic of Isis, it is so.

Purification Priest/ess returns to place. Ways Priest/esses return the cups and pick up the censers and incense. Consecration Priest/ess comes to center, standing between the lotus pond and the temple (where s/he can be seen by group) and makes Sign of the Wings of Isis.

C P/s:  Isis is all things and all things are Isis.

S/he enters the Shrine, takes up censer. S/he returns to where group can see her, and elevates the censer. Ways Priest/esses move out into the circle.

C P/s: (To group) Help us to charge this incense with the consecrating powers of Isis. In a moment, we will ask you to join us in chanting “Iset Ash,” which means “Isis of Fire,” and send consecrating energy into the censer nearest you.

(To the Consecrating Powers) O, You Souls of Day, Fire-Dwellers, Consecrators, you of the Living Breath from the Mouth of Isis, I have come for you. By the Blood, by the Power, by the Magic of Isis, establish yourselves within this censer.

Vibrate with me now…(vibrating into censer) ISET ASH!

All: ISET ASH!

All Priest/esses: Isis is consecrated. The temple is consecrated. The temple is consecrated. I am consecrated. I am consecrated with the Fire of Isis. I am consecrated with the Flame of the Goddess.

Ps Isis:  We’ll all be repeating this formula of consecration. Priest/ess, will you teach us the words?

C P/s: I will. Repeat after me. Isis is consecrated. The temple is consecrated.

All: Isis is consecrated. The temple is consecrated.

C P/s: The temple is consecrated. I am consecrated.

All: The temple is consecrated. I am consecrated.

C P/s: I am consecrated with the Fire of Isis.

All: I am consecrated with the Fire of Isis.

C P/s: I am consecrated with the Flame of the Goddess.

All: I am consecrated with the Flame of the Goddess.

Beginning wherever they are, all priest/esses circumambulate the temple, censing ritualists and chanting.

All: (Chanting) Isis is consecrated. The temple is consecrated. The temple is consecrated. I am consecrated. I am consecrated with the Fire of Isis. I am consecrated with the Flame of the Goddess. (Repeating as needed.)

C P/s: (Upon completing the circuit) By the Magic of Isis, it is so.

All: By the Magic of Isis, it is so.

All return censers to Shrine and return to their places.

Opening the Ways

Standing in center before the temple and facing group, Priestess of Isis raises her arms in the Sign of the Wings Of Isis.

Ps Isis: Open, O Heaven! Open, O Earth! Open, O East! Open, O West! Open, O South! Open, O North!  The gates of Your House shall be flung wide for You, Goddess Isis!

(Priestess may walk through group to be heard) We will open the Temple of Isis. We will invoke the Goddess to Her House. Let us see a great sphere of Radiant Light shimmering and encompassing the Temple and this whole circle. We will open the 4 quarters, above, and below us using this gesture. (Demonstrating it.) And as we do that, see your aura and the aura of this place opening to the Goddess as we chant or “vibrate” one of Isis’ names. The Priestess or Priest of each quarter will tell you the names to vibrate. The names mean Isis of Air, Isis of Fire, Isis of Water, Isis of Earth, Soul of Isis and Vital Energy of Isis.

Let us Open the Ways for Isis the Beautiful, the Radiant Goddess.

Priest/ess of Air comes to center, standing between the lotus pond and the temple and faces East.

P/s Air: Let the shrine of the East be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET NEF.

All: (Vibrating) ISET NEF.

P/s Air: See your aura opening to Isis, only Isis. Now breathe in and breathe Her breath. Feel the breeze upon your face. Smell the many scents upon the wind. Feel Her breath move your hair. Feel Her breath move your clothing. The House of Isis is open unto Isis of the Air.

Priest/ess of Fire comes to center, standing between the Lotus pond and the temple and faces South.

P/s Fire: Let the shrine of the South be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET ASH.

All: (Vibrating) ISET ASH.

P/s Fire: See your aura opening to Isis, only Isis.  Burning in the South is the Flame of Isis, which is Her heart and Her Divine Will. Feel the heat of Her power. Feel the heat of Her passion. Reach out your hands and warm them at Her fire. The House of Isis is open unto Isis of the Fires.

Priest/ess of Water comes to center, standing between the lotus pond and the temple and faces West.

P/s Water: Let the shrine of the West be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET MU.

All:  (Vibrating) ISET MU.

P/s Water: See your aura opening to Isis, only Isis. Imagine that you stand on the banks of a river. It is the sacred Nile, the River of Isis, the river that runs with Her blood, with Her tears. Feel the moisture that rises from the river. Taste it on your lips. Walk into the water and feel its refreshing coolness. The House of Isis is open unto Isis of the Waters.

Priest/ess of Earth comes to center, standing between the lotus pond and the temple and faces North.

P/s Earth: Let the shrine of the North be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET TA.

All: (Vibrating) ISET TA.

P/s Earth: See your aura opening to Isis, only Isis. Look out across this green Earth and see the body of Isis the Goddess. Feel Her nourish your body. Sense Her ancient wisdom. Let your roots reach deep, into Her, into Isis. The House of Isis is open unto Isis of the Earth.

Priest/esses of Heaven and Otherworld comes to center, facing each other. Priest/ess of Heaven extends her/his arms above her/his head, giving the Sign of the Opening of the Shrine.

Heaven: Let the shrine of Heaven be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET BA.

All: (Vibrating) ISET BA.

Heaven: See your aura opening to Isis above you. See the stars in the night sky and feel their Light rain down on you. Infinite is the Soul of Isis. The House of Isis is open to Her infinite Soul.

Priest/ess of the Otherworld lowers her/his arms to the Earth, giving the Sign of the Opening of the Shrine.

Otherworld: (Turning attention downward) Let the shrine of the Otherworld be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET KA.

All: (Vibrating) ISET KA.

Otherworld: See your aura opening to Isis below you. Isis is the Guide in this Mysterious Land. She is your magic and protection in this life—and beyond. Feel Her strength vibrate beneath you. Feel Her peace supporting you from below. The House of Isis is open unto the Energy of Isis.

Priest/ess Heaven and Otherworld return to place, Invocation Priest/ess to center and faces group.

Inv P/s: (Turning attention to the center) Let the shrine of my Heart be opened unto Isis, only Isis (making gesture). (Speaking) ISET IB.

All: (Vibrating) ISET IB.

Inv P/s: See the doors of your heart opening to Isis. Chains fall away from your heart. A shell that had formed there breaks open—now. The Flame of Isis burns brighter. The House of Isis is open unto the Heart of Isis.

Ps Isis:  Now let us all come to the center and form a group with our arms around each other. We can be circles within circles—think “Avatar” and let us have space for our Priestess in our midst.

Done; ritualists wrap their arms about each other for support.

Invocation

Ps Isis: We now invoke Her. In a moment, we’ll begin by whispering Her name. Just whispering as we ask for Her presence. As you whisper Her name and as your sisters and brothers whisper Her name, let your desire for Isis grow and come forth from you to Her. Ask Her to come. Want Her to come. Desire Her to come. Let your longing flow to Her through all the Ways we have opened for Her. Let us begin now…

All: (Whispering) ISIS, ISIS, ISIS.

Inv P/s:  (Addressing the Goddess) We have opened the ways for You, Goddess Isis!

Come, therefore, Winged One and fill this vessel, Your Temple. Grace us, Isis, with Your presence. Enter into Your House and be with Your children. O come Beloved One, Great of Magic, Beautiful of Wings, Bright of Face. Open our eyes to Your everywhere-presence. Awaken our hearts to the voice of Your beating wings. Make bare our souls to the beauty of Your Words of Power.

We arise on wings of aspiration to You, O Isis. Come, descend from above, arise from below, expand from within—and fill Your House, O Goddess. From the rising bud of the lotus, to the mighty branch of the sycamore, to the Moon and Sun which are Your eyes, to the Stars which entwine Your hair, all the Universe is Yours, Isis—as are we.

O Isis, Goddess, Mother, Sister, Queen—the Ways are open unto You—we are open unto You.  We invite You—enter in now! Vibrate Her name with me, three times!

All: (Vibrating) ISIS. ISIS. ISIS.

Ps Isis:  (Improvising something like) Welcome Her into Her temple and into your heart. Let Her Light flow into you and your aura—for it is the true House of Isis that surrounds you always. Be with Her presence for just a moment. Move your body in response to Her energy if you like. Don’t ground this energy. Keep it with you and integrate it into your heart.

The Goddess is alive and magic is most definitely afoot. There are two more parts to this rite: a guided visualization of entering into the Temple of Isis, and—as we did last night—putting Her sacred image to bed for the night. We will not be Closing the Ways this evening for we wish to continue to receive Her Magic in this circle and in Her temple all weekend long.

However, if you need to return to your camp, this part of the rite is complete and now would be a good time to leave the circle. If you wish to continue in the rite, please go to your City and gather around your priestess or priest and be seated. Let us go and be with our fellow Citizens now.

Priestesses and priests of the Cities gather their group by calling out the name of the City. Rite pauses as all who wish leave or join their Cities.

The Lotus Pool

High Priestesses and High Priests of the Cities each lead this visualization for their Cities.

H P/Ps City: Let us be seated.

Done.

H P/Ps City: We are now going on a journey into the astral Temple of Isis, the House of the Goddess that always exists. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply and begin to still your mind. Simply see the darkness behind your eyes, nothing more. Soft darkness. Comfortable, warm, nurturing darkness. And we begin…

Become aware of your bare feet as you stand in the desert sand. It is nighttime, a warm Egyptian summer night yet we can sense that dawn is approaching. As we look up, we see the great sand-colored Temple of Isis that lies before us. We walk towards it, our feet sinking in the sand. Upon reaching the heavy wooden temple doors, we knock three times. In a moment, two maidens dressed in diaphanous pleated robes open the doors. They move gracefully, as if they were dancing rather than walking, and they usher us into the interior of the House of Isis.

The House of the Goddess has high walls supported by huge pillars that are carved as lotus flowers. The walls, too, are covered with carvings. As we continue walking into the temple, up ahead we can make out a small pool, decorated with painted lotus blossoms. Walk up to it, and see that living blue lotus flowers float on the surface of the water.

This is the Lotus Pool of Isis. It is filled with the dark waters of the Nun, the waters of No-Thing-Ness that existed before there was anything. All possibilities are contained within the watery Nun. In this Lotus Pool, Isis grants visions to those who truly aspire to them. But for now, simply look into the dark, dark, still and ancient waters and let us whisper Her name together.

All: (Whispering) Isis, Isis, Isis.

H P/s City: At the sound of Her name, we sense a stirring in the waters. A scene appears before us:   We know that it is just before dawn for the nighttime sky begins to lighten to indigo blue. The Sun is rising. The Light is coming forth. A voice says, “I am Isis. I am all that was, that is, that ever shall be. I am the Great Goddess and you are My child.”

A ripple passes across the surface of the pool and the scene dissolves. A Great Being begins to rise out of the Lotus Pool. She is beautiful and She is crowned with the Sun. Of course, it is Isis and She is rising—shining, glowing.  She continues to rise from the Lotus Pool; taller and taller…until She is at least ten feet taller than we are. She is imposing and She is wonderful. Look at Her. She says, “Open your heart to Me.”

We can do this by breathing deeply into our hearts. With each breath, our hearts seem to grow larger. With each breath, our hearts expand. With each breath, our hearts shine more and more brightly with Her solar radiance. Your heart is opening, opening, opening to Isis, only Isis. Feel the opening of your heart unto the Great Goddess Isis. (Pausing)

With our hearts opened, we can hear the Voice of Isis more clearly. She says, “I have something to tell you.” She speaks and we feel a soft breeze and smell the scent of a million, million flowers and the spicy fragrance of cinnamon. Listen now and hear what Isis says. It could be words, or pictures, or just feelings. Hear Her Voice now (pausing)…

You have been touched by Isis. You are blessed.

Thank Isis in your own words, then watch as the Goddess slowly flows back into the Lotus Pool. When we see only the dark waters of the Nun, we turn and walk back through the temple, until we come to the outer doors of the building. The maidens have returned to open the ways for us. And, for now, we leave the temple.

Looking up into the sky, we see that the solar disk is upon the horizon. The day is dawning; Creation is renewed each day by the light of Isis, the Radiant Goddess.

Now let us return to the here and now, knowing that the blessings of Isis are upon us and that we are welcome to return to the Lotus Pool of Visions whenever we want to.

Let us take a moment to reflect upon our visions.

Priestess of Isis signals and all City priest/esses join in softly rattling their sistra until all the Cities are ready to proceed.

Learning the Sacred Hymn of Isis

High Priest/ess of the City teaches the “Isis is the Wisdom” chant to her/his City.

H P/s City: We have one more obligation before we close this rite. And that is to put the sacred image of Isis to bed for the night and to perform the Rite of Entering the Night.

As we prepare to do this, let us sing a simple chant: (singing one line then letting the group repeat) Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Morning. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Night. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Morning. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Night. Isis, Isis, Isis.

All: (Singing) Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Morning. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Night. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Morning. Isis is the wisdom that is given in the Boat of the Night. Isis, Isis, Isis. (Repeating as needed.)

Ps Isis: (Loudly to group) Continue singing and let us gather around the Shrine of the Goddess!

The Rite of Entering the Night

Group gathers around to see the image of Isis as best they can. All in the priesthood cross their hands on their chest and bow to the image of Isis; hopefully group will follow. Purification and Consecration Priest/esses stand beside the altar upon which is the censer with incense and cup of pure water.

P P/s:  A spark from the Heart of Isis resides within this sacred image of the Goddess.

C P/s:  We honor that spark from the Heart of the Goddess as we honor Isis Herself.

Consecration Priest/ess lights charcoal and places incense upon it, then elevates it toward the image.

C P/s:  We offer to You, O Isis Within, this sweet spice. May it please You and make Your rest peaceful.

Purification Priest/ess elevates libation cup toward the image, then pours it into a larger bowl. S/he steps before the image and slowly makes the gesture of Closing the Shrine.

P P/s: We offer to You, O Isis Within, this pure water. May it cool Your lips and make Your rest peaceful.

P P/s:  (Vibrating softly) ISIS.

Consecration Priest/ess steps before the image and slowly makes the gesture of Closing the Shrine.

C P/s: (Vibrating softly) ISIS.

P&C Ps/s:  (Together; speaking for the Goddess) I am that Star Who shines in the night. I am Isis Sothis Who lifts up your soul in the darkness. I am the giver of sleep and dreams, the Healer in the star-filled belly of My Mother. I enter into the night and navigate the River of Stars in beauty.

(Closing the doors of the shrine) Be in peace, Isis, be in peace. Amma, Iset.

All: Amma, Iset!

Closing

Priestess of Isis moves to where she can be seen by all. Invocation Priest/ess moves to center between lotus pool and the temple. Let group remain as they are.

Ps Isis: We will not Close the Ways to Isis, for She will remain with us all festival long and we want to remain open to Her Sacred Magic and Her Holy Voice.

Ps Inv/Heart: Yet we will ask Isis to bless and protect each of the Ways we have opened to Her this night. Simply reach out your hands to each direction as we ask the Blessing of Isis.

Let the shrine of my Heart be blessed and protected (gestures; the Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Priestess of Isis returns to place. Priest/esses of Heaven and the Otherworld come to center.

Otherworld: Let the shrine of the Otherworld be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Heaven: Let the shrine of Heaven be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Pries/tesses return to places. Priest/ess of Earth goes to center.

P Earth: Let the shrine of the North be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Priest/ess of Earth returns to place. Priest/ess of Water goes to center.

P Water: Let the shrine of the West be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Priest/ess of Water returns to place. Priest/ess of Fire goes to center.

P Fire: Let the shrine of the South be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Priest/ess of Fire returns to place. Priest/ess of Air goes to center.

P Air: Let the shrine of the East be blessed and protected (gestures; Priest/ess makes up her/his own gesture of blessing and protection).

Ps Isis: We have Opened the Ways to Isis. Be with us, Isis, for this our Festival! Amma, Iset!

All: Amma, Iset!

All exit.

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