Posted by: Isidora | February 23, 2010

Carrying the Sun—SunFest Main Ritual

About the Rite: This Summer Solstice rite celebrates Isis as the Radiant One, the Golden Goddess of the Sun Who is the solar center and heart around which Her children circle. The rite magically helps circulate Her Sacred Light throughout the Universe (represented by the Temple of Isis and the festival site), including the Underworld. There, in the place of personal shadows, participants have an opportunity to gain insight on an aspect of their own spiritual work upon which they wish to “shed more light.”

Ritual Tools: Large Horns & Disk symbol; sistra, cup of water, incense & censer, music, votive candles for each City (Isidora will provide), votive flame kindled from sunlight earlier in the day; ID signs for each City.

Procession of the Sacred Image

Priestesses and priests of the Cities remain at their City’s altar with anything they need for their City’s blessing of the Horns & Disk. Any of the Citizens who choose to remain at the City with the High Priestess or Priest may do so. Everyone else gathers at the Temple of Isis with sistra, rattles, drums. Procession begins and ends at Isiopolis/the Temple of Isis. Isiopolis priesthood calls the group to order with rattling of the sistra.

P/s Isiopolis: In many ancient Egyptian temples, one of the rituals was to carry the energy of the Sun, captured within a sacred image, throughout the temple—which represented the Universe. Often, they would begin on the temple roof where the image would be charged, then they would carry the image throughout the temple, even into the lower chambers representing the Underworld. In this way, they circulated the light and life of the Sun throughout the entire Universe, bringing its growth and renewal and balance to the world.

Tonight we participate in a new version of that ancient rite. Like those before us, we shall carry the light and life of Radiant Isis with us into the Temple of the Universe and even into the shadowed Underworld.

We carry Her light in the Fire we kindled earlier today and also in the great symbol of the Horns, Disk & Throne of Isis (gestures for Priest/esses of the Horns & Disk to bring out image).

Done. Priest/esses of the Horns & Disk move near the front of the procession, proceeded by Ophois (Wepwawet; the Opener of the Way). Priestess of Isiopolis takes up the votive lit from the sun’s light earlier.

P/s Isiopolis: (To group) Let us follow our Guide, Ophois the Canine God—the Opener of the Ways—as we carry the light of Isis the Brilliant from City to City and receive a blessing at each City altar!

Procession moves from City to City (order to be determined on site), receiving a blessing at each City. High Priestess or Priest of each City is responsible for creating the blessing of the City, assisted by of the Citizens of that City. (Blessing should be 1 minute or less.) As we come to the altar for each City, the Citizens of that City join their High Priestess or Priest.

Ophois, the Opener of the Ways and Guide, leads the procession, danced by Lupa.

When procession is complete, let the High Priestesses and Priests of the Cities help people gather before the altar of Isis. Priestess of Isiopolis comes forward.

Enthroning the Sun

P/s Isiopolis: Let the Priest/esses of the Horns and the Disk enthrone the image of the Goddess at the Gateway—and within our hearts.

Ps H&D: Radiant Isis, shine the light of Your Beautiful Golden Face upon our paths.

Ps H&D: Radiant Isis, embrace the light with Your Beautiful Horns.

Priest/esses place the Horns & Disk at the Gate and return to their places in the group.

Purification & Consecration

Purification Priest/ess & Consecration Priest/ess step up aside the altar bringing with them the water and incense.

Purif. Ps: Let us form several semi-circles before the altar as if we are the crescent horns embracing the disk.

Done.

Cons. Ps:And let us be purified and consecrated once more for our rite.

From the temple platform, the Purification Priest/ess & Concecration Priest/ess quickly sprinkle water and cense the group. Leading the group, they speak the purification and consecration formulae only one time.

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.

(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.

Invocation of Isis the Radiant One

P/s Isiopolis: We now seek to invoke the Light of the Goddess—into our temple, into our hearts. For even in the darkness of night, we know She is with us. O Isis, feed us on Your Magical Light and let us grow strong and beautiful (begins rattling sistrum and gathers group while speaking)!

Draw close, put your arms around each other as we together invoke Isis the Radiant Goddess. We may form circles within circles so that we can be close to each other.

Close your eyes and remember the heat and light of the day on your body, your face. Perhaps you can still feel it. Remember how it warmed your heart—warms it still. In that warmth, encircled here by your community, embraced by the love the Goddess, let your defenses soften. Let your heart open. Wider. And wider still. Breathe into your heart and let go. Nothing can harm you here in the embrace of Isis.

Listen to the ancient words of the Egyptian Sunfolk and confirm them in your heart as we read them:

Priesthood: (Reading together) “The Radiant Goddess strews the sky with Her beauty! For Her, I call the Ladies of Flame Who guard the doors of the sky. O open the doors of the sky for me and put the ladder together for me for I am weary in chaos, in the abyss, in darkness, and in gloom. O You who brighten chaos and lighten the skies, put the ladder together for me!

I put on my garment that is made of the air of life, of the sunlight of life. I am one who has pierced the height of heaven. I am one invisible of shape. I am merged in the Sunshine Goddess.”

P/s Isiopolis:Let your consciousness flow up to the heavens, raised up into the skies of the Sunshine Goddess (rattles sistrum). Be one who has pierced the height of heaven. Be one who is invisible of shape. Be one who is merged in the Sunshine Goddess. (Pause.)

Now we begin to draw in Her radiant energy. Be conscious of the heavens. Be conscious also of your open heart. Desire the Goddess of Sunlight to come into your heart…to illuminate your heart…want Her…ask Her…call Her down into our circle, into your heart…

And we do this with this chant: Isis, we drink Your sunlight. Radiant One, we breathe You in. Isis, we eat Your magic. Radiant One, take us within.

All: (Singing) Isis, we drink Your sunlight. Radiant One, we breathe You in. Isis, we eat Your magic. Radiant One, take us within.

P/s Isiopolis: (When energy feels right) She comes! She comes! Speak after us these Words of Power that invoke Her presence NOW:

Priesthood: O Isis, Radiant Goddess—

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You with the breath of our bodies.

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You with the words of our mouths.

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You with the thoughts of our minds.

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You with the beat of our hearts.

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You ‘Light.’

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You ‘Life.’

All repeat.

Priesthood: We call You Isis!

All repeat.

P/s Isiopolis:  Vibrate Her name thrice!

All: (Vibrating strongly) ISIS. ISIS. ISIS!

P/s Isiopolis: With each breath we take, we bring the brilliant light of Isis into this temple…into our hearts. Feel Her sacred light breathe in you.

With the light of the Goddess within us, we are prepared to enter the Night and the Underworld. Let us gather with our Cities in nine circles within the greater circle of our temple grounds.

Everyone breaks up into Cities. There may be some confusion; High Priestesses and Priests make themselves visible so people can gather around them. The High Priestess or Priest of the City takes over the ritual for their City group. Each City High Priest/ess picks up a votive candle from the temple and takes it to her or his City. A priest/ess of Isiopolis goes to altar with lighted votive and is ready to light the votives brought to her by each City’s representative when they arrive in the next few minutes.

Descent

H P/s of the City:  (To her/his City) Let us be seated.

Today at noon, we saw the face of Isis the Flame riding high in the heavens, at Her greatest solar strength. At twilight—for just a moment—day and night were balanced. But even now, the magic is shifting. The long days begin to give way to the night and the power of the Moon, which is, of course, just another of the Goddess’ faces.

But tonight, we have come to bring the light and the strength of Isis the Radiant One into the Night, into the Underworld, and even to let it shine upon our own shadows. For the darkness is never without the light and the light is never without the darkness.

High Priest/ess chooses one of the participants to go to the altar to receive the light of Isis.

H P/s:  (To chosen participant) On behalf of us all, will you go to the altar of the Goddess to receive a portion of Her light?

Person: I will.

Participant goes to a priest/ess of Isiopolis at the temple. Priestess transfers light from the candle lit by sunlight to the votive. This happens for each City representative.

When this person returns to the City, High Priest/ess asks her/him to take the light to each person.

H P/s: When the light comes to you, warm your hands in the fire and say,  “Let the Sacred Light breathe in me.” And become aware, once again, of your heart shining with the red-gold light of Isis the Radiant Goddess.

Each participant:  Let the Sacred Light breathe in me.

Night: In the Underworld

H P/s: (Guiding visualization) We are in a world without light, yet radiant.

We are here to seek light and guidance from Isis the Radiant Goddess. Be aware of your heart as a center of light. When you are ready, close your eyes.

You are in an ancient temple of Isis. You are Her votary, one devoted to Her. You have carried Her light from the roof, throughout the upper temple, and now, imagine that you walk down the stairs into the lower temple…which seems something like a tomb.

It is cooler here. Damp. Refreshing after the heat of the day to tell the truth. It is very, very still. You hear only your own breathing and the beat of your heart.

As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you see before you a passageway or a door. At the end of that passageway or through that door is a shrine—similar to the one in this temple—but this shrine is private, just for you and the Radiant Goddess. There, you may ask Her to shed light upon that which you have come to ask.

Let us go to our shrines now…

Once there, look around the shrine and note any details you think important. Then invoke Isis and ask what your heart desires… (Pause of about 2 minutes.)

Now take a moment to remember what the Goddess has given you.

Thank Her. (Pause.) Then return from the shrine into the lower temple. Notice, when you are there, all the others returning from their shrines, the light of the Radiant Goddess glittering in their hearts—as it does in yours.

Affirming the Light of the Brilliant One

H P/s: Now, all together, let us climb the stairs and re-enter the upper temple. And when we are ready, we open our eyes and take a moment to be present with the others who are with us. You may share your impressions or experiences with others in your City if you wish.

When the City is complete with this part, the High Priest/ess elevates the candle. When s/he sees that all the other Cities are elevating their candles, s/he continues.

H P/s:There is yet another magical act that we are asked to do tonight. Based on the information the Goddess has revealed to us, let us each create a brief affirmation that we will speak aloud or affirm in our hearts during the next part of this rite.

For instance, if you learned from the Goddess that you need to lighten-up in your approach to your spiritual path, you might affirm something like, “I open my heart to playfulness and joy.” Everybody understand? Then let’s take a few moments to silently work out and remember our affirmations. (Pause.)

Done. When the City is finished with this part of the rite, the High Priest/ess again elevates the candle. When all Cities are finished, HP/s Isiopolis continues…

Charging the Heart

P/s Isiopolis: (To entire group) Our final, magical acts tonight are to thank the Goddess for Her light this night, and then to raise up the Sun in our hearts as we pass through this shortest night of the year.

First, let us thank Her…

(Addressing the Goddess) O Isis, You have fed us on sunlight. Beneath Your rays we have grown strong and beautiful! Our hearts are awakened to Your beautiful Light. The shadows flee away.

We thank You for Your everywhere presence and we ask You to remain in our hearts as we end this rite.

(To group) Let us all say together, “We thank You, Radiant Isis!”

All: We thank You, Radiant Isis!

P/s Isiopolis: And now—as we pass beneath the Horns & Disk of Isis—we will speak our affirmation—silently or aloud—then follow the path to the fire circle, where we may dance and drum in honor of the most Radiant Goddess for as long as we so desire.

As we do this, let us chant a new chant for Isis. Priestesses of Denderah…will you teach us this chant?

HP/s Denderah: We will!

Yvonne and Lissa (and all from Denderah who may have learned it) teach the chant. As everyone is singing, City of Denderah (dancers and drummers) begin the procession beneath the Horns & Disk and make their affirmation. All follow. When they reach the fire pit, they begin the dancing and drumming.

This continues until all have passed beneath the Horns & Disk and the dancing begins. There is no particular order for this; all may go as they are ready, except the priesthood. Priesthood remains behind and closes down any residual energy they deem necessary, offering additional thanks to the Goddess.

The rite is complete.

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