[See plate 82.]
THE HAUNTED CHAMBER.
ANTECHAMBER examination omitted.
Second part in the dark chamber, to wit:
1. MARS (alias Death): What is this noise and confusion? Who comes here to disturb our haven of rest?
2. JUPITER (alias Aises, a leader): Hark! I heard a voice! It is true, this place is haunted! Say thou, spirit or angel, speak! Who art thou?
3. M.: I am Death! All who enter here must die! Are ye prepared?
4. Mercury (alias Saug, heavy): Hark! What fearful words!
5. M.: Silence!
6. J.: Alas, O Death, spare us! Command us as thou wilt, but slay us not.
7. M.: Impious mortals, know ye this place is consecrated to the spirits of the dead? All who enter here must die!
8. MER.: We implore Thee, O Death! Is there no respite?
9. M.: Over your heads I hold the two-edged sword. Fear ye, and tremble when I command.
10. J.: Alas, O Death, we and all mortals fear thee. What shall we do?
11. M.: There is one respite. Sit ye at my feet in token of your submission to a higher power than mortals. (The initiates sit down.) Bide ye there till I call my fellow-God, Life. Ye shall know your doom! All hail, O Life! Hither, hither! Mortal intruders have profaned our sacred chamber! Come thou and deal with them, that I may receive their souls!
12. SUN (alias Dan, a light): Hail, O Death! I come! Mighty art thou, O Death! Were it not for thee mortals would esteem themselves Gods. Take me, brother, to them.
(M. conducts S. to another part of the chamber.)
S.: Mortals, for what purpose are ye here? Speak to me, I am Life.
13. Pity us, O Life! We are friends to the spirits of the dead. We have come hither to unite ourselves in a common brotherhood, especially to improve ourselves in spirit communion. Deal thou mercifully with us and we will be faithful and true.
14. S.: On one condition only can I save you from Death's hand. I have here scales on which I weigh mortals, and by your words shall ye be weighed, for all words manifest the spirit within. If, therefore, ye repeat after me the words I utter, ye shall live. But if ye do not so utter them, ye shall be handed over to Death. Neither will I utter aught but what all good men and true, may utter my words after me.
15. J.: Speak, O Life! We will repeat after thee.
16. MER.: We will repeat after thee.
17. VENUS (alias Due'ji): We will utter thy words!
18. CERES (alias Hyastra): Speak, O Life, thy words shall be our words.
(Many of the stars repeat expressions in like manner, the initiates being previously named as some star.)
19. S.: My friends, repeat your own names and then these words (the initiates give their names): Of my own free will, in presence of these spirits and mortals, do I covenant that I will forever keep and never reveal any of the secrets or mysteries I may receive within this chamber. That I will accept as my brethren all who are here present, and all who have been heretofore initiated, or may be hereafter initiated, as fully and entirely as if they were my own blood and kin. That I will not from this time forth utter one slanderous word against these my brethren, nor against any man nor woman nor child belonging to them or that is dependent on them. That I will protect their honor and virtue and love as sacredly as I would my own mother. That I will from this time forth engage myself in some useful employment, and from the excess of my wages, contribute to the relief and assistance of any of the brethren who may be helpless or distressed. So keep me, Thou, who makest and rulest over all. Make me steadfast to keep this, my solemn covenant; and I bind myself under no less a penalty than to forfeit all spirit presence both in this world and the next, and the good-fellowship of all men, if I should fail to keep this, my holy covenant. By the Pillars of the castle I swear, and by the Sun, and by Uz (Osiris), and by the Sacred Wheel, and by the Angle of Gau, yea, by Elohim!
20. S.: My friends, you have been weighed, and the scales bear to your favor. You shall live. What more desire ye!
21. All: Light! (The ceremony so far being in the dark.)
22. S.: Let my servants make a light. (The servants march about, but make no light.)
23. First Servant: Alas, O Master, we can not make a light; the oil will not burn; the lamps are cold.
24. S.: In this emergency, what shall be done?
25. Second Servant: Alas, O Master, we know not.
26. S.: Let this be a lesson to both spirits and mortals, for as I do now, so in all great trials, do ye also. (Aside:) Hither, O brother God! Hither, O my brother!
27. M.: Here, O Life! Here, O Life, I come!
(Walking to a different corner.)
28. S.: My attendants can not make a light. The oil will not burn. The lamps are cold. What shall be done?
29. M.: Let us supplicate Him who is greater than life and death!
30. S.: It is well.
31. M. and S. (together): O Thou, Almighty and Everlasting Creator of Life, and Master of Death, give us light! Give us light, O Father!
32. S.: Let my servants try once more. (The servants now make a light. The initiates behold their strange apparel, which was put on them in the dark.)
33. M.: Behold, O mortals, by the light of heaven, man hath risen above the beasts of the field and fowls of the air. But for the light of Uz (Osiris) your heads would have this day been as your hoods. (With his sword he knocks off the head-covering.) Be as beasts no more, but men and women. In token of your fidelity to the covenant, drink ye of this nectar of life. (Because they were saved from death.)
(The cup is then passed from one to another, and all drink of it. In the Algonquin tribes of America the ceremony was the same, save that a pipe was smoked instead of the drink, and to this day it is practiced by them as a pledge of peace and brotherhood.)
34. S.: (making the proper sign, which is withheld from publication, and taking the hand of one of the initiates): Arise, O my brother of the Haunted Chamber, I salute thee in the name of ------ (withheld from publication).
35. M.: As ye are now raised up on earth, so shall ye be raised in heaven, where, it is represented by the spirits of the second heavens, are scales to weigh the spirits of mortals recently dead. And he who presideth over the scales in heaven was called ------ (alas me, how shall I repeat his name?) Let him who conducted you hither answer me: Who is the God of the Scales in heaven?
36. FOURTH SERVANT: I can not so answer, Master.
37. S.: Knowest thou?
38. FOURTH SERVANT: I am wise.
39. S.: What wilt thou?
40. FOURTH SERVANT: (Withheld from publication.) (And when Anubis appeareth, the Master saith): All words sprung from the fullness of the spirit within. Be exact in observing your covenant, and guarded in your words toward all men, for as ye were here weighed by your words, so shall ye be both in this world and the next. (The S. and M. now bestow the pass-words and signs, here withheld from publication.)
41. M.: Thus endeth your initiation, and may the cross of the Wheel of the Great Spirit be the centre of your action, and the angle of your behavior toward all men. Amen!
(All respond, Amen!)
42. FIRST INITIATE: Why, this is just the brotherhood we desired!
43. SECOND INITIATE: Just what we set out to accomplish!
44. THIRD INITIATE: And better done than we could have done it!
45. S.: Remember, then, this lesson: That in all good works inclining to brotherhood, especially that which inclineth to spirit communion, mortals are ever assisted and guided by wise spirits of noble aspirations.
(Manner of dismissal withheld from publication out of respect to existing societies.)