My Meeting With You
[The Beast Bay Mass-Making Competition fizzled out in a gale of dead computers, email accounts, and enthusiasm. It did, however, produce four (or five if someone is to be believed) very interesting scripts for communal eucharist rituals. We hope to eventually post all of them on The Beast Bay. I'm posting my own entry now, inviting comments, and welcoming anyone who wants to try it out. This ritual has yet to be performed, though I do have a lot of casting and venue ideas, and I hope to do it by this spring at either Metaversal or Cheth House in Berkeley.]
My Meeting With You
In the east of the ritual chamber is a throne consisting of a platform one foot high by two feet wide by three feet long, on the back end of which is placed a one-and-a-half foot cube. This throne is decorated in a manner reminiscent of Ra-Hoor-Khuit?s throne in the Stele of Revealing. A round table, 31 inches high, supported by one graceful central column, is to the south and in front of the throne. On it are a glass, and enough sweet champagne to give everyone in the Company, and the Scribe, a glassful, and a covered platter holding enough cakes so that everyone in the Company, and the Scribe, may consume one.
In the southeast corner of the chamber is the Secret Temple. It is made of gauze or diaphanous veils, and the Priestess stands bare and rejoicing within it in front of an altar or pedestal placed in the far southeast, on which stands a reproduction of the Stele of Revealing, with a row of three, five, or seven small candles (e.g., tea lights) burning in front of it. It also has some place (ideally its altar) in which the Hierophant hides before the ceremony begins.
In the northeast corner lies the Altar of Sacrifice, at least one foot high, and in proportions of 4x7x12 height/width/length. It is oriented with the short ends facing east/west, and is either white with a red rose in the center or red with a white rose in the center. A spear of any kind lies somewhere on the west end of this altar.
In the southwest corner stands the Kaaba, a desk with a chair to its south at which someone may sit and write. On it is placed a bell, an unlit candle, and a blank book. Inside it is a golden brown mantle of velvety texture and leopard skin pattern.
In the northwest corner is the Cradle, which gives the impression of a small boat (or a large lotus) with room for one to sit.
Placed in the center of the ritual space is the Altar of Desolation. It is at least three feet high, in the proportions of 9x4x9 height/width/length., and oriented with the short ends facing east/west. Ideally its top is made of sheet brass and supported by slim, curved brass legs with delicate feet, but even something with a brass colored altarcloth, or made of brass painted wood, will do. In the center of this altar is incense ready to burn in a way that is portable (i.e., charcoal in a censer, a stick, a cone holder, etc.); also, there is a beautiful container full of water (i.e., bowl, vase, pitcher, bottle, etc.). At the far eastern end of the Altar of Desolation is a small and inobvious slot or holder which can allow the reproduction of the Stele to stand upright.
The Company is ushered to their seats. A Scribe, clothed in purple and yellow, sits at the Kaaba. When everyone is seated the Scribe rings the bell 1-333, then rises and addresses the Company.
Scribe: By the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Company: Love is the law, love under will.
Scribe rings bell 333-1, then goes to the south side of the Altar of Desolation and picks up the water.
Scribe: Begone! ye mockers; ye shall laugh not long.
Scribe sprinkles water in the southeast, the west and the northeast, each time proclaiming,
Scribe: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
Scribe sets down the water at the Kaaba, then goes to the north side of the Altar of Desolation and lights the incense.
Scribe: Remember all ye that existence is pure joy!
Scribe censes in the northwest, the southwest, and the east, each time proclaiming,
Scribe: I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.
Scribe places the incense beside the water, takes a seat at the Kaaba, and begins writing in the book.
Scribe: Ah! Ah! What do I feel? Is the word exhausted?
Priestess: (from the Secret Temple) Thou art exhaust in the voluptuous fullness of the inspiration; the expiration is sweeter than death, more rapid and laughterful than a caress of Hell's own worm. Oh! thou art overcome: we are upon thee; our delight is all over thee: hail! hail: prophet of Nu! prophet of Had! prophet of Ra-Hoor-Khu! Now rejoice! now come in our splendour & rapture! Come in our passionate peace, & write sweet words for the Kings!
Scribe: O Queen of Heaven, write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!
Priestess: The ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all. This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law. But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!
Scribe: At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say – and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple –
Priestess: To me! To me!
Scribe: (lighting the Kaaba?s candle) – calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant.
Priestess: Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you! I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky. To me! To me!
Scribe: The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.
Scribe puts down the pen, stands, and rings the bell 55555-666666.
Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe,the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
Scribe: Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.
The Priest enters, clothed in white and gold, goes to the west side of the Altar of Desolation, and faces east.
Priest: I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed. I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.
Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet.
Scribe: But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!
The Company rise to their feet, and make an ascending triangle with thumbs and forefingers over their hearts.
Company: I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
Priest: Ah! Ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.
The Company is seated. As the Scribe then speaks, the Priest walks toward the Secret Temple.
Scribe: Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one:
Priest: (while walking) Who am I, and what shall be the sign?
Scribe: So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers:
By the end of this speech the Priest is kneeling before the entrance to the Secret Temple, his hands outstretched, as within, the Priestess bends toward him, reaching down her hands toward his.
Priestess: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
Scribe: Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat:
Priest: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
Scribe: None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
Priestess: For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.
Priestess reaches her hands through the veil and grasps the Priest?s hands. She raises him and brings him into the Secret Temple where he clothes her in sky-blue and silver while declaring,
Priest: By the figurative mystery of these holy vestments I do clothe thee with the moon and the sky by the love of Nu that our desired end may be effected through thee my Babalon, unto whom I give my blood.
Once the Priestess is robed she goes to the Stele and picks it up. She turns to the Priest. As the Priestess then speaks, the Priest girds her with a sword.
Priestess: Worship with fire & blood; worship with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword, and let blood flow in nomine Babalon.
Priest takes the Stele saying,
Priest: This stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation.
Priest wraps the Stele in black cloth saying,
Priest: Now let there be a veiling of this shrine.
The Priest and Priestess each take it using one hand, he the right she the left, and they carry it, as if they were pallbearers, out of the Secret Temple and over to the Altar of Sacrifice where they lay it flat on the eastern end of the altar. The Priestess takes the rose from the center of the altar and places it on the Stele. The Priest and Priestess embrace.
Priest and Priestess: (together) The word of the Law is Thelema! The word of Sin is Restriction.
Priestess: O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will!
Priest: O lover, if thou wilt, depart!
Priest and Priestess: (together) There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse.
They lie down together upon the Altar of Sacrifice with the spear between them.
Scribe rings bell 666666-55555.
Scribe: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The Company rises and gives the signs of Puer and Puella while proclaiming,
Company: Love is the law, love under will.
The Babe enters, swaddled in either green and gray or green gray, goes to the east side of the Altar of Desolation, and faces west.
Babe: Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.
Babe gives the sign of Silence.
The Scribe and Company are seated. The Priest takes the spear, sits up and gets off of the Altar of Sacrifice, assisting the Priestess to do the same, and then guides her to the right hand of the Babe, where she gives the sign of Mater Triumphans. While doing all this he declares,
Priest: Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu: she shall achieve Hadit.
The Priest goes around and takes the Babe?s left hand while the Priestess takes the right hand.
Priestess: Let my servants be few & secret.
Priest: They shall rule the many & the known.
Priest leading, he and Priestess guide the Babe to the northwest, stopping in front of the Cradle. While they are proceeding the Scribe reads from the book,
Scribe: Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this.
The Babe turns to face the Company.
Babe: Therein am I as a babe in an egg.
The Priestess and Priest place the Babe in the Cradle. The Babe gives the sign of Silence. Scribe closes the book, rises, and gives sign of Osiris Slain.
Scribe: The Book of the Law is Written and Concealed.
The Company rises, giving sign of Spirit.
Company: Aum. Ha.
Priestess: Set up my image in the East.
The Priest goes to the Altar of Sacrifice and sets down the spear there. He takes the rose and places it athwart the spear. He unwraps the Stele and throws the cloth into the northeast corner. He takes the Stele and sets it up, facing east, in its place at the far eastern end of the Altar of Desolation. Scribe rings the bell 4444-1-88888888.
Priest: Get the stele of revealing itself; – & it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day.
Priestess: Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee.
Priest falls to his knees before the Stele. The Hierophant, dressed in scarlet and orange, emerges from the Secret Temple, giving the sign of the Enterer.
Hierophant: To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss.
Hierophant stands, facing west, in the space between the throne in the east and the kneeling Priest.
Hierophant: The other images group around me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast & his Bride are they: and for the winners of the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know.
Priest rises to his feet, along with the Scribe. They, and the Company, give the sign of Vir while the Priestess gives the sign of Mulier. The Hierophant goes to the throne in the east and sits.
Hierophant: Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.
The Scribe and Company sit. Scribe rings bell 7777777-333-1.
Priest takes the covered platter of cakes from the round table up to the Hierophant, bows, and kneels before the throne, holding up the covered platter. The Priestess comes up to the Priest?s left side, bows, removes the cover from the platter and places it on the round table, then kneels beside the Priest.
Priest and Priestess: (together)
Unity uttermost showed!
We adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee: –
We, We adore thee!
Hierophant: I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any! Be ready to fly or to smite! Deem not too eagerly to catch the promises; fear not to undergo the curses. Fear not at all! Make cakes & eat unto me!
Priestess: (rising to her feet with the sign of Apep) This is our only proof. Conquer! That is enough.
Priest rises with the platter of cakes and turns to show them to the Company. Priestess turns also.
Priest: This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
Priestess and Priest face each other and step back. The Priestess takes a glass of champagne from the round table, and turns back to the priest. Scribe rings the bell 1-333-7777777.
Hierophant: Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto Nuit. Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly Hadit?s – and doubt it not, and if thou art ever joyous, then canst thou bear even more joy. The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.
During this speech the Scribe has risen and donned the mantle, and now walks up to stand before the throne, between the Priest and Priestess. Scribe assumes the attitude of Ankh-af-na-khonsu on the Stele of Revealing (which is also a representation of the hieroglyph meaning to call or invoke), that is, the Scribe?s feet are parallel, the right foot advanced about half a foot ahead of the left; the left arm is down at the side and slightly back, the hand held loosely open, knuckles facing forward; the right arm is held forward at a ninety degree angle, hand held flat and fully open, palm upwards, at about the same level as the Scribe?s neck.
The light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Priest gives the Scribe a cake. Scribe consumes the cake.
Priest: And so shall this cake breed lust & power of lust in you at the eating thereof.
Priestess gives the Scribe a glass of champagne. Scribe drinks it.
Priestess: If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!
Hierophant and Company: (together) But exceed! exceed!
The Scribe returns the glass to the Priestess and turns to the Company, assuming the attitude of Ankh-af-na-khonsu as before.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Company: So mote it be!
Now each member of the Company comes forward, one at a time, and assumes the attitude of Ankh-af-na-khonsu before the Hierophant. The Scribe places the mantle on the communicant. The Priest gives the communicant a cake, saying, “And so shall this cake breed lust & power of lust in you at the eating thereof.” The communicant eats the cake. The Priestess gives the communicant a glass of champagne, saying, “If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!” The communicant drinks while the Hierophant and the rest of the Company cry, “But exceed! exceed!” The communicant returns the glass to the Priestess, turns to the Company, and in the attitude of Ankh-af-na-khonsu, declares, “Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit! Bid me within thine House to dwell, O winged snake of light, Hadit! Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!”. The rest of the Company shout, “So mote it be!” The communicant is seated and the next person communicates. This continues until everyone of the Company has communicated. The Scribe then resumes the mantle and returns to the Kaaba. The Priestess and Priest return the glass and the platter to the round table, then stand hand in hand in front of the throne, facing the Company. The Scribe rings the bell 1-333-7777777.
Priest: O be thou proud and mighty among men! Lift up thyself! for there is none like unto thee among men or among Gods!
Priestess: These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools. Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
They set off hand in hand, walking clockwise around the Altar of Desolation, singing together, until they reach the entrance to the Secret Temple. During this song the candles and any other lights are slowly extinguished until the only lights left are the candle at the Kaaba and the small candles on the Secret Temple?s altar.
The Song of Farewell
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Saith with his voice of truth and calm
O thou that hast a single arm!
O thou that glitterest in the moon!
I weave thee in the spinning charm;
I lure thee with the billowy tune.
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Hath parted from the darkling crowds,
Hath joined the dwellers of the light,
Opening Duant, the star-abodes,
Their keys receiving.
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Hath made his passage into night,
His pleasure on the earth to do
Among the living.
Once the Priestess and Priest reach the entrance to the Secret Temple, they turn to the Company and give a salute, each one holding their free arm up and straight out from the shoulder, hand fully open, fingers together, then they simultaneously bend their arms at the elbow, forming two ninety degree angles.
Priest and Priestess: (together) Every man and every woman is a star.
Scribe and Company: (giving salute with right arm held as Priestess or Priest) Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
Priest and Priestess enter the Secret Temple, extinguish the candles on the altar, and lie down together. The Scribe sits at the Kaaba, rings the bell 333-1, and opens the book.
Scribe: My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
Company: Love is the law, love under will.
Hierophant: Now this mystery is done, and I want to go on to the holier place. The fool readeth this Book of the Law, and its comment; & he understandeth it not. Let him come through the first ordeal, & it will be to him as silver. Through the second, gold. Through the third, stones of precious water. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars. There is success.
Scribe rings the bell 1-333. All give the sign of Silence.
Hierophant: The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.
The Scribe puts out the candle at the Kaaba.