Honoring the Earth, Composed By the Rt. Rev. Lady Loreon Vigné, Arch Priestess of Isis/ Temple of Isis California

Honoring the Earth

I will honor the planet that we live on
For there really is no other
We are all sisters We are all brothers
And the Earth She is our Mother

I will honor the Sun and the Moon
For they shine on us together
The Sun is our Yang The Moon is our Yin
And they light our way forever

I will honor the plants and trees
For they grow with such great beauty
The trees give us fruits The plants give us food
Their designs are a mystery

I will honor the rivers and streams
And the waters of the ocean
For water is so sacred It purifies our lives
It deserves our full devotion

So let us honor the Planet, the Sun and the Moon
The plants and the trees, the valleys and the hills
The rivers and the streams and all that live upon the Earth.

All text copyright © 2005-2014 Rt. Rev. Loreon Vigné

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Oracle of Gaia/ “The Veil is Divided”

Oracle of Gaia

The celebrant enters the House of the Earth, clad in darkness…there being no above nor below.  For this is the “below”, and the fragrance of the outside world is but a dream.  The slumber of the night wraps itself around all creatures, and yet there is a stirring in that infernal house called Hades.  The Titans are ever restless, and the heroic Gods have lost their footing on the throat of time.  Enter the brave…the foolhardy, even, for there is always a place for the stout of heart and valiant of purpose.  We, the Gods, are waiting for her or him.

Now the Hearth contains nothing but embers…a spark here, a wisp of smoke there.  Incense still hangs above you, there in the blue-black veil that billows and gestures…come…come….

The Goddess Vesta stands ready to receive your homage.  Pale, white-clad, radiant and eternally vigilant, She is the Mother of Roma, which has ceased to be an empire and yet rises from its own ashes in service to the immortal Gods.  Vesta and Cybele Magna Mater remove the dust from your feet, and above their heads they offer up a single blue flame, an infant of what it once was.

These are the words of Cybele Magna Mater:  Creeping round doth time prevail, striking through his mortal shell.  Though flesh is rosy, dons Apollo’s fire, still doth flesh light its funeral pyre.  A flame once good becomes the object of power, seeking hungrily the last and final hour. When men rule blue and green from ambition, not even the grave shall remedy his condition.  O Gods You shall then turn away, when many become one, night scorches as day.  The sun shall consume what greed man hath carried, and Hades we fear shall his prize be married!

These are the words of Mother Vesta:  Still your hearts, you men of the sunlit world, for Cybele speaks only of what may be, not what shall be.  Even the Gods cannot predict the precise order of the Stars that have yet to be born, and as it has happened in the past, my Sacred Fire may yet come into the hands of wiser souls…though ignorance be rife and the sanctity of the Temples no longer honored.

Though the Fire of Vesta itself has been extinguished, there are embers in the Ether, spread out like fireflies on a Summer breeze…difficult to hold onto, and yet not impossible to see.  If but one hand takes up the Vows of the Vestals, and rekindles the holy embers, then the Gods shall turn their faces once more toward humankind, and what was once dead shall be brought back to life.

It is fear and doubt that destroys purity, not desire.  For desire is holy when it seeks to serve without being requited.  Discover a sliver of devotion in your heart, tend to it night and day, and let that desire burst into the flame of love.  Love, you are the boon of a starving man, alone and facing his own annihilation.  Only when a man has lost the seed of love has he earned his doom and assured that the house of Hades will continue.

The Fire of Vesta grows in you, O blessed of the Goddess, to whom is given the embers of Truth.  Even as Romulus and Remus were suckled by the great She-Wolf, so too does a single ember erupt into a fire…and even a small fire may lay low an empire!  Let your fire be love for its own sake, and devotion be your shield against laziness.  For it is laziness that breeds false contentment, and false contentment that gives way to decay.

May the Fire of Vesta surround your heart and make impenetrable your will!  May an eagle perch on your right hand, forging of it a faith that plants a tree in the bosom of the desert.  Do not linger in the darkness of despair or fall prey to self-pity.  I place upon your shoulders the mantle of Minerva, Who softens wounds and imparts magical potency!

The Mantle of Minerva cuts through the darkness and shows the veil for what it is, an illusion of separation caused by the birth of beings into a mortal skin.  The sword of Minerva alone cuts through the veil, which, when whole, gives the appearance of death and mortality…humanity apart from its Divine parentage.  This is all folly, of course, for the Gods gave birth to humankind from their own skins, even as the Titans fell from the loins of Gaia.  Gaia is the Mother of the Gods, and She is called the Forerunner of Heaven, for even Heaven erupted from Her parted thighs!

Do you, celebrant of the Gods, desire to come back into the ranks of the Immortals?  It is in one’s heart and determination that one discovers the secret of Immortality, which is that there is no death and the veil does not exist.  There is no separation between the Earth and Sky, between the Heavenly Gods and the Earthly Titans…and there is no passing away of the Sacred Fire from which all life came forth.  To see that one is truly composed of Spirit is to recognize that the veil of death, separation, mortality and the mundane does not exist, and cannot contain the miracle of the Soul.

Above the head of the celebrant appears the most radiant, starlit flame…a piece of the heavenly vault, which shines a pure violet light, casting a nimbus of solitude in its wake.  The Goddesses Vesta, Cybele and Minerva, clad in white, purple and gold, link arms and bestow the boons of Truth, Virtue and Wisdom to the heart of the celebrant.  Filled with peace and a hope for renewal, the celebrant speaks:

Hail Vesta, crowned with the olive leaf, hallowed of heart and gentle of will!  I grant unto you the offering of virtue, which pleases the Gods and brings peace to the nations of the world!

O blessed Cybele, O Magna Mater, clad in the wisdom of the ages, Whose children are the fruits of the Earth, Whose beauty outshines the noble sun!  I bring you the abundance of a generous heart, seeking only to give, and never to take without gratitude.  May the deeds of my body bring forth pleasure.  May my desire embrace all and shun no one!  For the gifts which You have given are the abilities of the heart, which knows joy and love, not only sorrow and anger.

O mighty Minerva, the victorious, the noble, the richly arrayed and sweet of speech!  Grant unto me a wise heart, that I might know the virtues of a sacred life overflowing with Truth.  May I know the Gods.  May I pass beyond a mortal form and gain the victory of Heaven.  May the deeds I leave behind uplift the Earth and enhance the creatures of the World.  For You are the guardian of all the sacred places, which draw the Earth and Heavens together, and mortal flesh into its Spirit!

Now we may depart the dark house called Hades, and enter into the House of the Vestals, which at night seems as a dream, and yet manifests anew with the rising of the golden sun in the east.  The Fire of Vesta is kindred to a heart filled with charity and virtue…a heart that embraces a path of clarity, unobstructed by ambition or mere worship of the worldly.

The promise of the Goddesses is that their children may in time overcome the solidity of the veil, which seems to stand against a knowledge of divinity and a clear perception of Spirit.  But the veil is only illusion, while a child clings desperately onto the fabric of a physical life.  Life without the inner Truth of the Muses is dry, and eventually collapses into the grave.  It is Spirit that survives, overcomes, and manifests its innate Divine purpose.

All text copyright © 2014-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The Prayer for Walking the Path of Auset, From “Prayers and Meditations of Auset” By Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa, Pr.H/ Temple of Auset Nevada

Auset of Philae

This prayer is one of my many favorites, a prayer I wrote to Auset- our dear Mother Isis- during a time of doubt and difficulty. It was one of those moments of angst when my heart and mind were simply screaming out “Ma! Ma! Ma! Will You please answer me!” Its words reflect the all-embracing Embodiment of the Divine Mother in Her role as Savioress of humankind, the eternally vigilant Parent of each of Her devotees.

Use this prayer anywhere, and any time you feel the need to call out to Isis as your personal Savior and Goddess. Although there is no need to use it in conjunction with fancy rites or rituals, lighting a candle and making an offering of incense before or during the recitation of this prayer will certainly heighten its impact and meaning in your personal worship.

Light a red candle, the color especially sacred to the Goddess, and make an offering of frankincense or myrrh to the Mother. Take several deep, cleansing breaths and center yourself. If you have an icon or statue or image of Isis that is precious to you, use it as an object of focus and reverence as you recite this prayer. Use this as an opportunity to express your innermost desires to the Divine Mother audibly.

Of course, the Mother is omniscient and omnipotent, knowing the innermost recesses of your heart and mind even before you do! However, there is tremendous power in actually announcing our fears, wishes and desires to the Divine. Especially when combined with the force of prayer and ritual, our spoken thoughts take on new power and meaning, often helping us to further connect with our emotions and find release in the solace of prayer.

The Ancients Themselves believed firmly in the efficacy of the spoken word, knowing very well that the vibration of sound merged with the motion of Sacred Rites held within it the ability to transform the human world through the resonance of the Divine. Therefore, as you use these prayers to the Divine Mother, visualize Her Power taking an active affect in your life. If you are using this prayer in conjunction with a particular request, visualize the outcome you desire, and see the Divine Mother as the fulfillment of your wishes. See Her as the compassionate Protectress, coming swiftly to the aid of your heart’s troubles and needs.

If you feel emotional during your prayer rite, let it come forth naturally. Cry if you need to cry. Sob if you need to sob. Shake your fists if you need to shake your fists! If you find, as I often do, that silent recitation of a prayer creates a more effective emotional outcome, do not hesitate to simply read these words to yourself, all the while visualizing the Power of the Goddess coming forth from your heart in response to your devotions.

Peace to You, O Auset, Isis, the Face of Universal Truth.  Homage to You, O Divine Mother of my heart, Isis, the eternal flame of the heart.

Manifest Your Face in Peace, O Auset, You reflection of peace, You face of the truth of peace through the Creation of the heart.

O Mother, the heart of greatness, let my path of greatness be that of the greatness of the heart; a heart that gives, not only receives; a heart that yearns to bestow love, not only accept love; a heart that shields others from sorrow, not only hides from sorrow; a heart that travels far for the welfare of others, not only asking others to make the journey; a heart that endures sacrifice, not only asking for the sacrifice of others; a heart that sees all life in creation as hallowed, not only this life, my life; a heart that serves Truth, not only desiring to be served; a heart that is humble in the presence of greatness, not only craving to be great; a heart that forgives the misdeeds of others, not only desiring to be forgiven; a heart of courage, even in the face of terror; a resilient heart, even in the face of defeat; a compassionate heart, even in the face of injustice; a heart overflowing with hope, even in the midst of the storm; a heart burning with the eternal flame of divine Wisdom, even in the face of doubt, persecution or suffering.

O Mother, You radiant flower of eternal wisdom, grant unto me, the pilgrim on the way, the luminosity of Your omnipresent heart, a heart knowing no limits to the reaches of its love.

You Who uplifted the Father Ausir, uplift me, Your Heart’s servant, from the vessel of darkness.

May I realize the Light through You.

May I restore the Light through You.

May I magnify the Light through You.

May I become a true pilgrim of the Light through You.

May I travel afar only to return to the Light through You.

May I create the Light through You.

May others see the Light in me through You.

May I heal the sick with the Light through You.

May I give release to the suffering with the Light through You.

May I sever the binds of the enslaved with the Light through You.

May I pave the road for liberty with the Light through You.

May I sound the chime of equality with the Light through You.

May I open the path to the light of justice through You.

May I purify all that is polluted through this pure Light that is You.

May I strengthen the aspirations of the just through this heart of justice that is You.

May I become a receptacle for the heart of selflessness, the motivations of altruism, the causes of righteousness and the mind of Illumination- through this radiance of the heart of Divine Light that is You.

May the desires of perfect peace, unconditional love, selfless service, non-persecution, and True Justice abound in me, and may my heart be truly liberated through the Light of this eternal flame that is You.

Gracious Divine Mother, the summation of the purest love, the countenance of Truth manifest over the four great directions, the Consort of Truth, the Bestower of Life, the breath of the faithful and the sustenance upon which their hearts prosper, put down suffering and the causes of suffering, paving the road to liberation for all living things, abolishing the forms of degeneration, uniting all women and men to the Ever-Present All of the Eternally-Manifest-Ones- This Great Ladder through which all paths are absorbed in the undiminished Divine bliss of the Undivided Supreme, the Infinitely Abiding Ones, beyond all forms of name, form and doctrine.

Help me Great Mother, to be one of those who serves without question, who works for the good that exists beyond self, who labors without desire for the reward, who bestows purely through the heart of love without grasping for pleasure, satisfaction or recompense.

May my misdeeds be cleansed through sight of You.

May my passions be calmed by the Grace of You.

May my desires be transmuted into the heartfelt wish for peace through You.

O Divine Mother Auset, the form of bliss in Heaven, the form of power over the Earth, the name of Truth in the hearts of the faithful, come near me in peace! Liberate my cares and sufferings through Your tenderness, and soothe my sufferings through the ever-manifest compassion beaming from the eternal flame of Your heart.

Draw near to the hearts of all those who serve You, liberate those who do not know You, and bestow the full grace of Your divine blessings upon the totality of creation.

This in blessedness I pray, dear Mother Auset, that all burdens might be lifted, that the Illumination of Your true love may create of my heart an eternal flame, whose light may dispel the veil of sorrow from before the eyes of all living beings in Creation.

Homage to You, O Auset, in peace!

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa.

Coming to Tara, Mother of the Buddhas: A Meditation & Prayer for Spiritual and Ecological Wholeness By Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa, Pr.H/ Temple of Auset Nevada/ Iseum of Isis Savioress of the Universe

Tara

Our Purpose

In times of doubt and need, in times of crisis we reach for that which will bring us immediate relief from our suffering. When we cut a finger we look for a bandage. When we fracture a bone we place it in a cast. When our heart is broken we look for a way to put it back together again…we seek wholeness again…we find a way to close the wound and find our resilient emotional faculties.

All living things desire, above all, happiness, life and freedom, to exist without suffering and hindrances…to be permitted to thrive of their own accord. Each one of us travels in our own boat, gliding along the waters of experience according to our own inner guidance or knowledge. We eventually seek to land on the shore, however briefly, of a fulfilled and nourished life, a true meaning…gnosis…of our journey clearly inscribed upon our heart. So much of our suffering is self induced, self inflicted by our refusal to acknowledge the deeper, innermost workings of our hearts and minds. Gnosis emerges when we take the time to stop our furious travels on the waters, dig through the layers of the untamed mind, and return to the pure state of a consciousness that does not cling, grasp or fixate on our emotional baggage.

All that we call real in this transient world is a hologram”, Olivia Robertson reminds us (in “Isis is For All”, Isis-House Publishing, 2011), “deliberately created to teach us to become our true selves. Our souls are born of Deity, and we have within us an individual Divine Being”. In other words, we have created an alternate reality in our daily lives, and we hold fast onto this as if it were substantial, and yet it is but a fleeting moment of time in the life cycle of the soul, and it is this Soul, part of the Great Soul, Deity, Divine Consciousness, that is the true reality of which all things are composed. Our suffering? Suffering arises because of our obsession with our alternative reality…our physical and earthly existence. But it is our ethereal existence, born from the realm of Spirit, that holds the ultimate meaning of reality.

If we can, but for little moments at a time, take ourselves back into the womb of our beginning, into the realm of Spirit…the realm of the Infinite Soul, Deity…then we can bring back with us some of that consciousness and experience into our physical, terrestrial lives. We can enliven the here and now with the nurturing, healing, compassion and wholeness not fixed in time or space, nor bound by our mortality. Truly, we are immortal beings. Death, suffering, limitations and ignorance are illusions that can be overcome, but only through our sincere effort to peel away our own self imposed fetters. In order to do this, we reach out to Mother, to our place of beginnings in the liquid warmth of the Mother’s womb.

Târâ Drölma, Liberator

Tibetans have many names for Mother Tara, Who is ever and always the compassionate, all-embracing reality from which transcendence emerges, and ills subside. Within the milk of kindness Dölma, the Liberator, sublime Tara takes Her ethereal seat upon the lotus throne, and from Her hand springs the blue or white lotus, the hallmark of the mind of enlightenment.

Tibetans tell the story of the princess Sherab Drölma, whose determination to end the suffering of all beings transformed her into a Bodhisattva, a being whose compassion commits her or him to take rebirth until the liberation of all sentient beings from the cycle of suffering and perpetual birth. From Bodhisattva, Tara Dölma emerged, reaching out to answer the prayers of all who call upon Her. With the immediacy of a mother who hears the crying of her very own child, noble Tara responds swiftly to the call of all sentient beings, prepared to shower them with Her flowering mercy.

It is also said that Tara began as the emanation of Avalokiteshvara-Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, being born from his tears as he looked upon the innumerable suffering beings under his care, and despaired of ever liberating them all. It was Tara who sprang forth in such unwavering compassion and determination, infused with a limitless and undaunted reservoir of altruism.

Although there are twenty-one manifestations of Tara Dölma, each with unique characteristics and iconography, it is the White and Green Taras who are especially venerated by the people of the Land of Snows (Tibet) as the liberators and protectors of all suffering beings. These are the Taras Who grant boons freely, defend against ecological crises (such as earthquakes and fires), and manifest to practitioners as the removers of obstacles to the mind of enlightenment. The White and Green Taras can diminish hatred, greed and pride, and urge the practitioner towards the complete development of compassion and altruism.

The Meditation & Prayer, Coming to Tara

What follows is my own inspired composition- meditation and prayer- while meditating upon the root mantra of Tara, and contemplating the great ecological suffering being experienced by our planet at this time. Not only ecological, but social suffering and want continues to urge action and demand higher consciousness. While we continue to consume our natural resources on a vast scale, our population explodes without regard to the gross taxation this imposes on our Earth, and our hunger grows. Each group fights for its own interests- personal and ideological- while denying the human rights and needs of “the other”. Governments impose measures that seem to restrict and hinder, instead of liberate or serve. Each heart seems possessed by personal desire and self preservation. How can we work with these tempestuous feelings as they arise within ourselves?

On Thursday June 29, 2000 I was first initiated into the practice of the White and Green Taras, with His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet acting as Root Guru. The Dalai Lama guided us through an astonishing visualization to enter into the presence of the twenty-one emanations of Tara Drölma, ending in the White and Green Taras, with particular emphasis on generating the mind of enlightenment in order to bring liberation to all sentient beings.

Within a shower of rainbow colored light, noble Tara appeared as the radiant heart of compassion, which begins with the self but quickly expands to encompass all sentient beings. As the body of White Tara expands, emerging from the blast of a pure white conch shell, we see the Goddess erect on Her lotus throne, the embodiment of victory over obstacles, while Her hands gracefully raise the white and blue lotus. Her face shines with the luminescence of a lamp, golden and jewel-toned, which is the lamp of Dharma, the Truth, the Universal Law. Kindness, compassion and care for all beings is resident in the level of the third eye, making its application universal, not solely personal. For the suffering of one is the burden of all, Tara tells us. She causes us to awaken to the hunger of others, who starve for tenderness and mercy, not only material gain.

From the crown of Tara- ornamented with a bejeweled diadem and pristine black locks- a nimbus or halo of rainbow light pierces through the veil of blue-black darkness, and within the heart the sound OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA bursts again and again, as a seed taking root in consciousness and multiplying rapidly like a tree of great shade. In this moment we ourselves become a beautiful vessel of lustral water, pure and sweet nectar, pouring out for the thirst of all sentient beings. Selfishness dissolves, and concern for others becomes the focus of our condition.

We realize all at once that the garments of Tara shimmer with a rich panoply of green, red and gold threads, iridescent, and floating like clouds passing softly through an azure sky. Again the thunder of a pure white conch sounds from all around, and this time the syllables OM AH HUM proliferate within the heart, again and again. Body (OM) speech (AH) and mind (HUM) are purified of selfishness, greed and anger, and the altruistic mind is generated for the welfare of all sentient beings. The Earth and its ills are given over to the lap of Tara, who becomes the Liberator, the Savioress of invincible mercy…the Mother of the Buddhas.

Feeling the qualities of compassion, altruism and determination arise, the heart maintains the syllables OM AH HUM, while the mind generates the root mantra of noble Tara, saying OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SVAHA. With each recitation, the mind becomes saturated with the compassion that encompasses all sentient beings, beginning with the self and extending outwards. Having gathered courage, determination and wisdom from the emanation of Tara, one is firmly rooted in the desire to liberate all beings from the fetters of suffering. The boundless compassion of Mother Tara, Liberator of all creatures, becomes my compassion, our compassion…shared by one, shared by all.

In accomplishing this practice, we will begin with the lighting of two candles, one White, given over to the honor of White Tara (Dolma Karpo or Sitatara, Who embodies purification and protection), and the other green, committed to the care of Green Tara (Who removes obstacles to the path of spiritual awakening). We will also offer incense (sandalwood, if available) and a bowl of pure water to the deity. Our prayers should be spoken aloud and with conviction, for in conviction we are determined to receive and offer the great compassion of Mother Tara on behalf of all sentient beings. Our determination flowers from a heart yearning to relieve the suffering of each living creature…each plant, animal and human…but also the waters, which surround and nourish, and make all life possible.

Having gratitude for all my teachers and peers, I have placed a few verses at the beginning of this prayer to honor (and petition) His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, since it was he who initiated me into the White and Green Taras, and has so generously bestowed upon me his kindness and wisdom.

To Lady Olivia Robertson, co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis, I also pay my love and gratitude for her endless gifts, and gentle tutelage. May she be blessed and cherished, ever with us, ever within our love for the Goddess.

OM AH HUM
In the sacred land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness,
O Powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso,
Remain in this world until samsara ends!

OM AH HUM
(A green candle is lit in the presence of Green Tara. A white candle is lit in the presence of White Tara)
O garland of virtues, pristine body of all Dharma,
Your radiance shines as a lamp of undiminished,
Refined light, where no doubt can remain!
Enthused with compassion you light the way
For the weary, where the blessedness of hope
Dispels the demons- selfishness, anger and greed.
O blessed Tara of innumerable virtues,
Shine your light from within my heart,
And fashion from my mind a jewel of
Diamond-hard resilience!

OM AH HUM
(Incense is offered to the Goddess Tara)
I offer all virtues to the sky
Like the pure white smoke billowing forth
As the noble Wind-Horse,
Carrying the precious teachings of
The noble lineages,
Paying homage to the Buddhas and the
Indestructible Dharma that is perfect truth.

OM AH HUM
A conch shell, pure white,
Blasts from the Land of Snows,
Heralding virtue of mind, body and speech-
Known to the four directions as wisdom,
Compassion and skillful means.
The Gods appear in rainbow light,
Beaming from the pristine forehead of
Drölma, the Liberator, Mother of all
Buddhas, Whose perfections embrace
The earth and purify its ailments.
This is accomplished through the
Endless compassion of the Bodhisattvas!

O Drölma, Precious Mother,
Emanated from the tears of Chenrezig,
Your crown pierces the suffering of all
Realms with the Three Jewels, in which
We go for refuge.
To the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha we
Commit our prayers, purifying the ills of
The earth and its people.
(An offering of pure water is poured out for the Goddess Tara)

OM AH HUM
May the mercy of your heart prevail.
May the insurmountable wisdom of
The Dharma, the Supreme Truth,
Manifest awareness and generate
The Mind of Enlightenment.
O lamp of seven eyes, your vision
Pierces the heart like the thunder of
A conch shell, whose beauteous melody
Diminishes delusion and clarifies the
Mind for Enlightenment.

O Compassionate One,
We pray for the ills of the earth,
Seeking the compassion of the Buddhas
Of the four directions!
The ills I have cultivated I hand over
Into the care of merciful Drölma,
Beseeching wisdom and engendering
Loving kindness.

(water is flicked or sprinkled in the presence of the Goddess Tara)
OM AH HUM
To the waters I bestow the purity of my
Intention.
To the creatures of the land I bear the
Will of preservation, harming none
And seeking only to do good.
To all sentient beings I proffer the
Three virtues of charity, mercy and love.
From the sweet and light-emitting lotus
Of compassion do all aspirations rise,
And the Mind of Enlightenment, which
Flourishes with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
Becomes the root of my life.
OM AH HUM

Recitation of the Mantra of White Tara
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Mama Ayuh Punya Jñana Pustim Kuru Svaha

Recitation of the Mantra of Green Tara
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa