Olivia Robertson - The Call of Isis Seven
Illustration by Olivia Robertson, Chapter Seven
"The feeling of sun and sea"
The Call of Isis
7. The Awakening of Solar Fire.
My friends Jean, Lewis and myself were seated in a circle in their home for a spiritualist séance. At least that was what it was intended to be. This was my first time in a circle. We were assembled that evening in their pleasant Georgian room, and afire burnt cheerfully in the grate. Curtains at both ends of the room were drawn, and only a blue light shone dimly to illustrate Lewis's writing materials. Red light was for physical mediumship, blue for clairvoyance. Jean was not a physical medium nor did she go into deep trance. She received mental impressions.
To begin with, we followed my friends' usual practice of saying together the Lord's prayer as we held hands. Then Lewis described a succession of colours we had to visualize for protection and for harmony. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I had not up to that time even practised solitary meditation, nor had sat in a meditation group. As for séances, the only one I had even come near was before the war, when the W. B. Yeats and the Lennox Robinsons were going to have one, after my parents and I had left the Yeats' house after tea. And in those far-off days I, an Anglican, had regarded Spiritualism with distrust as 'unhealthy.'
But now I felt very differently.
I remember how cosy it was, that evening, sitting in the firelight, the mundane world shut out, and the unknown about to unfold itself. For I was expecting a possible approach from some relative who had passed on: maybe a cheering message; some little piece of evidence of survival.
Lewis was a careful and thorough director of the circle; putting particular stress on looking after the Sensitive. First, he had the custom of waiting for 'the Gate-keeper', as reported by Jean. After this -could come Jean's report of the presence of their Guide and circle of helpers. Only then might some spirit friend contact Jean, and give a message. Of course, as they explained to me, spiritualists never 'called up' spirits. The spirits came if they chose. Jean was at the receiving end. That was all. If nothing were to happen, we would use any power left over in sending healing to those in need, the usual custom in psychic circles.
But something did happen. And it was quite unexpected.
Now Jean announced, not a Gate-keeper or her Guide, but the presence of one who was a Goddess, giving the name of Dána. And as she said this, there came upon the top of my head what seemed like a powerful electric shock. It flowed through my head, and felt like a silvery shower through my body. I felt that to fight it would be worse than useless. Indeed, I liked it. With this came a change in consciousness. I can only try to convey this by saying it was like the impact of hearing a very high note of music, far beyond the span of human voice. It brought wonder and delight. Yet it was so powerful that I feared that if it increased my very flesh might disintegrate. I felt that safety lay in allowing the power to flow freely right through my whole body like a water-fall. It seemed to move in channels in my head, on my brow, at the back of my head and neck. It did not stimulate the fire of the heart, but brought a feeling of purity and happiness.
Meanwhile I listened to the short verbal message that Jean was bringing through. Dána spoke of our valley and of the need for cleansing water. At the time I thought this must refer to an improved water supply, which our village then surely needed. But now I can understand the symbolism, the clearing of the veil that divides one sphere from another. In the Irish is an innate affinity with the spiritual sphere, as yet virtually untapped.
Jean gave a description of Dána, whom she described as having a beautiful and serene face, and long golden hair. She wore white. Now I was able to say that I could recognise this Goddess. By Goddess I meant a being far more advanced spiritually than our race of humans.
Some years before, I had been much upset by a reported cruelty to a cat, and had gone to bed in a turmoil of upset emotions.
Then I had a wonderful experience. I slipped, as it were, right down through the very depths of sleep into another deeper level of consciousness. I saw a most beautiful tall Goddess. Her face was a long oval, with arched eyes of a deep blue colour. Her nose was straight and clear-cut, her mouth small and scarlet. She looked Danish; like a medieval Madonna, or a Pre-Raphaelite Queen. Her hair was golden, and I could see each separate hair had its individual waves. Her long cloak was of a glorious turquoise blue that had the feeling of sun and sea. The edges of this robe, fastened at the throat, were richly embroidered with gold thread that formed an elaborate pattern with her long hair that fell below her waist. I have read of a similar visitation since, described by Fiona MacLeod in his 'Winged Destiny'. He called her the Lady Brigid, the early Irish Goddess, later associated with St. Bridget of the yellow hair.
However, what distinguished this vision from a psychic manifestation was the change in consciousness in myself. For one can see a psychic vision, and yet not alter in any way in one's being. As I saw 'The Gold Lady' I experienced a feeling of the most heavenly happiness. This intense happiness was unlike anything I had ever experienced, nor ever have since. It was not earthly. And now I felt this Lady had come again.
As her mental contact with Dána faded, Jean said that she felt so strong an influx of power in her head that it hurt. I then said I was also feeling this very strongly. We wondered what to do. We decided to hold each others' hands and somehow get the power to channel through, expecting it to disperse. It finally faded, at least to some degree.
Curiously enough, Lewis felt nothing. In fact at the time he was perturbed by this unorthodox change in established procedure. He accepted the uninvited guest as 'a Goddess,' but said why had she not used the offices of Gate-Keeper and Guide? I felt apologetic. And next time she came, not only did Dána make use of the services of Gate-Keeper and Guide, but managed to soften the power she brought with her.
As for myself, after that first evening the power still glowed like a soft light on top of my head and lasted until the next day, especially when I played the piano, I found that "it" was susceptible to mood and thought. So I tried being particularly nice to everybody that day, and avoided arguments or even abrupt words! For I knew that at the hint of any unkindness the Light would go.
And this influence of thought and power has importance on the actual physical level. It was only recently, when reading of the Uri Geller experiments with fork bending, that I remembered a strange happening in a Dublin society many years before. I had gone to hear a lecture on healing. At that time I had read nothing of 'Kundalini' force, or of Solar Fire. I was standing talking to the lecturer after the meeting. That was all I can remember myself of the incident. But a week or so later, a member of that audience contacted me, and told me of a puzzling happening. She said that she had been standing near the healer and myself after the lecture, and was aware of her need for healing. Suddenly, from the direction of the healer and myself, came a shot of electric power. She did not mention this to us. However, when she got back to her flat, she took out her latch-key, which was in the pocket on the side where she had been struck by the 'ray' of power. To her amazement, this steel key was bent double! There was no possibility of getting it in the lock. Yet it had been perfectly straight before the meeting,
She was a determined woman, obviously; one who liked to get to the bottom of things, So off she went to a locksmith, and asked could she have bent the key herself with her fingers, absentmindedly? He said no, that this was not possible. She told him the story. He could think of no explanation. Next she went to the healer and asked him. He later told me that he had no idea of what had happened, and anyway was not keen on being held responsible for bending keys! Then she searched me out, and found me respectably at the Vegetarian Society. I was taken aback by the lady's story, and denied any knowledge of it. It was only after study and development over some years, that I began to have a glimmer of understanding of what had occurred that evening.
Perhaps the best way of describing this virtually unknown power is a first-hand account of my own acquaintance with it. My brother Alexander first experienced it many years ago when he felt a shock like lightning up his spine. This was accompanied by religious experience.
With me, the development was very gradual, so less terrifying. Years ago I used to attend lectures by an Indian teacher, and it was there I felt a feeling in my heart like a warm orange flower gently burning. It was hard to discover what this was, because it affected my consciousness with a love that was a state of being. I remember trying to control this intensity of devotion by smoking Abdullah cigarettes!
My Heart Centre fluctuated in development through three years. I had read nothing about psychic centres in the body that Indians call 'chakras'. Certain books brought on this feeling. Yogananda's 'Autobiography of a Yogi', and Romain Roland's 'Life of Ramakrishna' affected me very strongly in this way: also the biography of the Monk Tripitaka, by Arthur Waley. The heart centre sensation would last for about a week.
After some years a change came. One evening I went to what I thought was Evensong in an Anglican church in London. I became aware that something was causing a strong silvery tingling in my throat, from the back of my neck. This had a psychic effect of some impact on my soul. I thought it might be healing for a slight cold. Then suddenly I knew what was causing this. I was not at Evensong. This was Benediction. And the Exposed Sacrament was quite definitely radiating a force that was affecting my Throat Centre.
In fact each time a new centre developed in me, it was conveyed to me from a source outside myself. The next time I was aware of this centre was at a healing meeting led by Brother Mandus of the World Healing Crusade. I noticed that these beautiful radiations, as the Holy Spirit, came where they listed, unexpectedly. Also any good channel was used, whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or Spiritualist. The power seemed to be a blend of the psychic, because it was affected by thought and feeling. For instance, in my peaceful Dublin flat I kept the silvery psychic lamp in my neck alight for a whole week, because I was in a serene state of mind. Then I decided I could venture forth from my one-woman convent, and have lunch in town. All went well at first. Still my silvery lamp kept alight in the beautiful garden of St. Stephen's Green. But when I met some friends for lunch, I fell. Or rather I allowed myself to be extremely irritated by someone, The light began to flicker out. And, to make matters worse, I began to resent the person for being unnecessarily maddening, and so driving the Holy Spirit away! Not a feather remained. Nor did I get back my serenity for many a long week.
Valentine also experienced this loss. She attained the Heart Centre awakening for three months, during that time being in a state bordering on ecstasy. The experience began in a railway carriage in Norfolk, when she became aware of a Shining Presence that she associated with Christ; or at any rate with someone who had great love. Her own heart awakened. In this state she found that on her return home she loved everyone and every creature, all that existed. And this seemed completely natural. But one day she found herself thinking something unkind - critical - about someone. And the state evaporated. She entered into an exaggerated condition of remorse and grief. Then the ecstasis returned. Finally it faded away. How she managed to hold it for so long amazes me. But she lived in the country and met few people, and those were not particularly observant. Otherwise, alas, they might have thought her in danger of a nervous breakdown. For the dividing line is narrow when the etheric part of man begins to manifest. As the rising generation so accurately call such a state, it is 'mind-blowing.'
For myself, I noticed that sound could bring on response in the throat centre. I used to go to an Anglican convent for Compline, and the sound of a gong had this effect. Once a small boy was irritating me very much by rattling empty milk bottles in the garden outside my Dublin flat. I was about to descend in wrath and stop him - when I became aware that the clanging of the bottles had awakened my throat centre! Gesture also could evoke this power. I discovered this shortly before my experience with Jean when Dána came. I was sitting in a restaurant with an ardent vegetarian. She was enthusiastically describing the upward movement of man reaching for fruit on trees. She was, waving her arm and hand. As she did this - I felt a light shower of power fall like a water-fall through my head. This prepared me for my later and more powerful experience. For the sudden onset of power can bring on painful pressure on the top of the head, until the channels are cleared of etheric débris.
So spontaneous development of the psychic centres must lead to a need to control them. I realized that I was moving from the passive world of dreams and trance to the active domain of manipulating power. I was being drawn into the orbit of the Temple of the Sun.
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Text presented on this site as it appears in the 1975 edition.