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´╗┐Title: Within the Temple of Isis
Author: Wagner, Belle M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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WITHIN
THE TEMPLE OF ISIS.

BY

BELLE M. WAGNER.

Denver, Colorado:
ASTRO-PHILOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING CO.,
1899.

COPYRIGHT, 1899,
BY HENRY WAGNER, M.D.



DEDICATION.

TO MY HUSBAND,

Henry Wagner, M.D.,

IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HIS TRUE WORTH AS A WARRIOR
IN THE CAUSE OF TRUTH, AND HIS DEVOTION TO THE
BROTHERHOOD AND SISTERHOOD OF MAN, AND THE
FATHERHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD OF GOD, I
DEDICATE THIS BOOK.

BY THE AUTHORESS.


[Transcriber's Note: Small errors, mainly in punctuation, have been
corrected in this version.  To see where corrections have been made,
please view the HTML version.]



PUBLISHER'S PREFACE.


We are safe in saying that "Within The Temple of Isis" is unique and
stands alone. There is no other book in print like it, and if
Solomon of old had not said, "There is nothing new under the sun,"
we would be inclined to contradict him.

"Within the Temple of Isis" God's word was law as interpreted by his
Hierophants; their oneness with the fountain of Being made them
conscious of Nature's secret operations, and enabled them, as it
does the wise ones of to-day, to enter the Temple of Isis and
observe the hidden mysteries concealed behind the veil.

Purity of motive and sincerity of purpose brought its own reward to
them of old as it does to those of to-day who purify themselves
before seeking for the knowledge and wisdom hidden within the "Holy
of Holies"--"The Temple of Isis."

Isis means Mother of all, while Osiris means Father of all.

The Temple of Two Truths as matter and spirit must be realized
within.

The Polar Opposites are those of sex dually expressed as two poles
of one law or principle as taught by Hermetic Philosophy before the
law of polarization of spirit into matter, and matter back into
spirit, can be understood.

The Alchemist and the Astrologer, alike, possess this wisdom, and it
was this knowledge that made the Priests Kings of Egypt, so justly
famous as Magicians or Wise Men.

They still exist in spirit realms and can transmit to this plane of
earth their wisdom, that would make earth a veritable paradise if
only the race could be made to realize its magical powers.

Scientific inventions of great moment to the race are thus projected
to the earth, and spiritual Adepts in occult laws will again revive
the "Wisdom Religion" upon earth in all its beauty and grandeur as
the western race becomes fitted intellectually and spiritually to
receive it.

Nature ever repeats herself in cycles of time on the spiritual and
mental, as well as the physical planes of life.

End, there is none. Time and eternity are the ever-present Now, so
far as the spirit is concerned. Therefore, the readers of this
strange occult book will some day realize its truths as realities of
natural law on the spiritual planes of life. It is a clear,
practical statement of Soul Marriage and of Soul Transfer from one
earthly temple to that of another.

Nature's laws are ever the same; therefore, the same experiences
herein narrated are applicable to Neophytes seeking soul initiation
to-day as they were in the days of The Temple of Isis, and if the
veil of Isis could be raised for one single moment the world would
be startled by the mysterious revelations disclosed.

To the Seers and the Occult Initiates alike, this book will appeal
with magical force. Its truths are those of the soul and spirit, and
can await the reader's soul development for verification.

Truth needs no apology; therefore, none will be offered as an
excuse for this publication. It is our desire that our readers may
some day know for themselves that Truth is indeed stranger than
Fiction.



INTRODUCTION.


In presenting this little volume to our readers we ask them to
accept it, not as fiction, but as divine truth as to the laws herein
revealed.

Not a statement is made that is not possible to the divine will of
man. Although it can not be proven to your outward knowledge, do not
reject and declare it is not true.

History will teach you there actually existed a "Temple of Isis,"
and the translations thereof, although many of them are very
incorrect, of the wonderful magic therein performed, lead one to
think there was some Wisdom issued from that Temple that is yet
beyond the human family, as a whole, to understand.

"The Temple of Isis" exists no more in external form, and the
Hierophants of that Temple have passed from this to the spiritual
planes above. But, need we think by that, the blind forces of Nature
can no more be controlled? The forces are just the same to-day, but
man's mind fails to grasp the truth that history repeats itself.

Mighty Hierophants are upon the earth to-day, in embryo, and when
the time comes that points favorably for active spiritual work on
the Western Continent, they will be called forth and Egypt will not
be ashamed of her true children nor their works.

The Wisdom Religion of Egypt still exists and we can contact that
Wisdom by the development of our souls. Even do the Wise Men of the
East, that was, exert their spiritual influence upon us to-day if we
but knew it.

The trouble lies with us not with them. They will never conceal it
from the honest soul truly seeking for Light, Life and Love.

Follow us carefully to the end, without prejudice, and when you have
finished, if you still think it fiction, strive to prove its falsity
and stop not until you have reached that stage of soul unfoldment
that will enable you to occupy that plane whereby you can stand
beside the great Hierophants of "The Temple of Isis."

THE AUTHORESS.



WITHIN THE TEMPLE OF ISIS.

CHAPTER I.

THE REVELATION OF THE ASTROLOGER.


Although the hour was very late, near midnight, the Priestess had
just retired to her apartments for repose.

The Rites of the day had been extremely long and fatiguing, as they
always were for a Priestess of Isis attendant upon the burial
service of one in high rank; and a great nobleman of the land, as
well as a near relative of the Priestess herself, had been buried
that day.

Thus personal sorrow had mingled with and added weight to the
impressive and solemn grandeur of the occasion, yet, strangely
enough her mind was neither with the events of the day nor the dead,
but her thoughts were resting now where they had wandered many times
throughout the day, namely, to her little handmaid and special
attendant, as well as Vestal in the Temple, Sarthia.

Sarthia, who at the very beginning of the Chants and Litany, had
failed in her part and had, with such a pitiable moan and beseeching
glance at her, been hastily withdrawn from the assembly and assisted
to the private courts.

Poor child, she thought, the strain upon her emotions, the solemn
occasion, was too great for her in view of the crisis, which all
unknown to her, must be now impending. However, upon learning from
an attendant that the young girl was resting quietly and apparently
not ill, she had not herself personally visited her, but concluded
to wait until morning.

Once, twice, thrice, just as the Priestess had, as it were, passed
the border-land of sleep the pale face, with its pleading eyes and
plaintive cry, had started her back to vivid consciousness.

"Ah! this will never do," she said, springing to her feet.
"Something is indeed wrong," and taking up her mantle she glided
swiftly through the corridors, and a few moments later was bending
over the silent and motionless form of Sarthia.

Noiseless as had been the approach of the Priestess some interior
vibration had informed Sarthia of her coming and, with a quivering
and swift movement, she sprang from her couch and threw herself
impulsively into the arms of the Priestess.

"Ah! sweet Mother, well beloved of our blessed and divine Isis, hear
me and help me," said the girl, in a whisper, tense and low, so low
as only to reach the listening ear of the Priestess.

"Speak child," answered the Priestess, caressingly clasping Sarthia
to her bosom with one strong arm, and with the other making soft,
mesmeric passes over her trembling body.

"Ah! thank you, sweet Mother; this is so good and kind of you to
come to me to-night. I have suffered so all day from your thought;
you have been disappointed in your Sarthia and with reason, too. A
Vestal, who all but faints at the sight of death, is not made of the
stuff required in the Temple Service. But, believe me, dear
Priestess, the trouble is far deeper than appears upon the surface.
The Ritual this morning but furnished the occasion or, rather,
hastened some crisis that was already near at hand. For some time
now I am haunted by most potent premonitions of a violent death.
Night after night, dark apparitions hang around my bed, and only
last night I awoke to find the Bird of Nu, the Owl, from out the
inner Sanctuary of the Temple, perched upon my pillow and shaking
his head and croaking at me most mournfully."

"What!" exclaimed the Priestess. "The Bird of Nu. Ah! this is indeed
very serious. The matter must be investigated at once. But, my
child, if all these portents prove true, do you fear death? Have
all our teachings been in vain? Have you made so little progress in
knowledge and the philosophy of existence as to be overcome by dark
shadows and grow faint in the presence of the sentiment and show of
an external ceremony? The pageantry, which appeals so overwhelmingly
to the emotions of the outside world, is the necessary means of
teaching the people these awful and stupendous mysteries of life and
death. But the Initiate should be sustained by actual experiences
within these hidden realms and possess a knowledge of their inner
nature which places him on a plane far above the reach of Fear;
besides being endowed with that burning love for wisdom which calmly
discerns good in evil, and immortal life in the shadow, called
death. Do not think I am chiding you, my child. I am only seeking
to recall my real Sarthia, who is incapable of Fear, back to this
physical expression called body.

"There, already the bright soul shines again with its usual clear
light. Hold it firmly and do not let it flicker so again, and now I
must leave you to seek an interview with the chief of the
Astrologers. The record and Horoscope of your birth must be
carefully looked up, and the meaning of these portents determined.
Good-night, my child."

With a kiss, fond and maternal, the Priestess withdrew. She
proceeded leisurely and thoughtfully toward a distant part of the
Temple, having first dispatched a messenger before her to announce
her coming, seeking an audience, well knowing that at this now early
hour of morning the Astrologer Priests would all be in the midst of
their busiest studies, calculations and most profound observations.

But Sarthia, when left alone, although marvelously calmed and
comforted by the tender presence and lofty words of her idolized
Priestess could not compose herself to sleep. Instead, she soon
floated into a state of restful contemplation, drifting from one
topic to another, until suddenly she found herself confronted by a
most intensely vivid and startling vision. "Can it be?" Yes, true
enough, there sat the venerable Astrologer holding in his hand
before him, her chart of birth. Beside him, engaged in completing
the necessary calculations, sat the scribe and youthful Astrologer
Priest, Hermo. There was a strange pallor over his face and a
compression of the lips which betrayed unusual emotion. The
Priestess was partially facing them, composed, yet with a serious
thoughtfulness of mien.

At last, Hermo, looking up, said, "The directions for the present
year of life are made out, and the fatal arc carefully computed,
Venerated Master," and handed his work to the Astrologer who took
it, studied a moment briefly, and turned to the Priestess.

"What is the result, Venerated Father?" she asked gently.

The Astrologer slowly shook his head and replied impressively,
"According to all the laws of our Science, and you know how true
they are, the physical organism of Sarthia can not survive this
present cycle of yonder fair Goddess of the night." And, with a
majestic move, he pushed aside a curtain, revealing the Moon now low
in the west.

"So short a time," said the Priestess. "To-morrow night will be the
full, and must we indeed lose our Sarthia before another new Moon?
What is the nature of these evil influences?"

"The planets, in their configurations, indicate sudden and violent
dissolution," was the reply.

"Ah, now," said Sarthia to herself resolutely, at this point turning
away from the vision, "now I understand it all," and with a feeling
of amaze at her newly-attained clairvoyance she fell into a deep and
refreshing sleep.



CHAPTER II.

IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HIEROPHANT.


With the first waking moments a sharp pang recalled to Sarthia the
vision and its revealments of the previous night. But her mind had
fully recovered its philosophic tone and she proceeded about her
customary routine of duties, calm and firm, and, as is often the
case, in view of some inevitable and stupendous catastrophy close at
hand, life only seemed larger, more intensely real. So, when later
in the day she received summons to meet the great Hierophant and
High Priest, what, at any other time, would have seemed a most
momentous event, appeared now only in the light of the expected and
necessary.

As she was ushered into the presence of the Holy Father the whole
apartment seemed pervaded by an atmosphere of genial warmth and
electrical-giving life which somehow emanated from the inner nature
of the Priest himself, radiating also spiritual and mental, as well
as physical force.

For some moments the Hierophant regarded the young Vestal in
silence, but Sarthia was conscious that he was reading her inmost
thought and motive like an open book, even down to her vision of the
Astrologer and his fatal announcement regarding her life.

"My child," he said at length, "are you ready for the great change
now already at hand?"

"No, Father, not ready but resigned to what seems to be the
inevitable decrees of the planets that rule my physical destiny."

"Thou hast well said thou art not ready. Your life has yet but only
begun for you. Its experiences, its many lessons and duties, are all
unlearnt and you would pass to the spirit world immatured. Your
young soul, like fruit plucked from the tree too soon, would ripen
slowly, losing many of its flavors and never attaining certain of
its best and highest qualities, for as you well know, progress in
the next stage of existence depends upon the attainments in this.

"Thou art not ready, yet say you are willing to bow to the
inevitable. This is wise, still have you not heard it said many
times that man is the arbiter of his own destiny and that the soul
was the inheritor of God-like powers by which it could rise to the
plane whereby it ruled, instead of obeying the blind or planetary
forces of Nature?"

"True, O Venerated Father, I have indeed heard all this, but I am
very ignorant. Are there such possibilities for my soul?" and
somehow imperceptibly hope began to dawn within her heart and
quicken the life forces.

"Ruling the blind forces of Nature is very like ruling the wild
beast, although the beast is much stronger than man and capable of
tearing him to pieces, yet man, by forethought, can evade or trap
and chain or otherwise overcome him. So my child, there are ways
wherein man, assisted by his own knowledge, and by the instruction
of departed spirits; aye, by the immortal Gods themselves, can
evade even the malefic planets in their devastating course.

"To my clairvoyant vision, as I now at this moment look at you,
every minute atom of your physical organism is in the subtle process
of depolarization from unity toward chaos and disintegration. You
are not yourself conscious of this condition only as it has been
revealed to you, for your soul is so alive that it has become almost
unconscious of its physical expression and for this very reason the
shock of dissolution would be all the greater when it did come; for
example, witness your unexpected collapse yesterday morning. Ah!
sudden death is a most deplorable calamity, and your pitiable state
of mind was but a foretaste of what would be the state of your soul
for many long years, if you had died then, and will yet be, to a
less extent now, unless this swift-coming blow can be evaded.

"However, in case the worst comes to worst, you have about ten days
more of this external life and under our special care and
preparation you can live years of experience in hours of physical
time, and your soul thus equipped may courageously enter upon its
journey to the spirit world. Rest assured, my child, everything
possible shall be done for you."

"Ah, thank you; thank you, kind and good Father," exclaimed Sarthia,
casting herself at the feet of the Hierophant and, with tears
streaming from her eyes, kissing the hem of his robe.

"But, truly life is sweet, especially to the young, is it not, my
child?" said the Priest, gently raising Sarthia to his side and
holding her trembling form in a firm clasp. "Happily, there is an
alternative which we have to offer for your most careful
consideration and decision.

"Listen now, and give me your closest attention. Know you the young
Princess Nu-nah?" Sarthia bowed assent.

"For now these many weeks she lies in a semi-conscious condition,
the soul hovering about its earthly temple uncertain whether to go
or stay. In some respects her condition corresponds with your own,
only that with you, as dissolution approaches, your soul grows
brighter and more active, while hers becomes more and more latent;
this result being largely the difference of environment--a contrast
of the soul unfoldment possible in Temple life and that amid the
distractions of the outside world.

"To-night, the night of the full Moon, the Princess Nu-nah will be
brought to the Temple and the Rites performed initiatory to the
soul's great change. You, also, my child, must bear her company. The
same journey lies before you both and you can go hand in hand
through the dark valley of the shadow of death.

"And now, right here is a point where all will depend upon _your_
decision. It is possible for us, by aid of the arts of Magic known
to us, to bring your two souls in such magnetic rapport that at a
certain point the vibrations of the two will, for a single instant
of time, be in unison. At that momentous instant the polarity of the
two souls can be interchanged so that the subsequent vibrations of
your soul will draw you toward Nu-nah's body, while Nu-nah's soul
will be drawn toward your organism, and thus will be accomplished
the first great step in the drama.

"This great change will hasten the physical crisis in each organism.
But your soul, while connected with Nu-nah's body, can easily
overcome the malefic planetary influences which would destroy it if
she were there; while her soul in your body renders _nil_, by its
very non-resistance, the influences which would be absolutely fatal
were you still there when the evil descends. And thus do you evade
the blind forces of Nature. Two lives are spared for the duties and
experiences of this world. This will be the second part of the
drama, and now comes the third and last point to consider, the
Result.

"In just the proportion as this is a most stupendous change in your
soul life, so indeed, perhaps, even appalling to your present
comprehension, will be the effect.

"After your soul has once entered its new temple it will be obliged
to remain there polarized by the new forces set in operation while
passing the crisis. Then, Sarthia, our bright and well-beloved
Vestal, will henceforth be known as Princess Nu-nah, and will be
obliged for a time to live the life and perform the duties of the
Princess.

"On the other hand, the Princess Nu-nah will put on the external
body of our Vestal Sarthia and enter upon the life of the Temple
Service, but with this difference; that while this change is
consciously made by you, Nu-nah will probably never know it until
she passes finally to the spirit world. Her past life has already
faded from memory while consciousness of the new life will dawn
gradually as upon an infant, and therefore, since she can not be
consulted in the matter, the decision rests solely with you.

"To-night, at midnight, your answer will be required. Until then,
fare thee well, and God be with you."



CHAPTER III.

THE MIDNIGHT OF THE FULL MOON.


It yet lacked several hours of the fateful midnight, as Sarthia, her
body perfumed and annointed, according to the prescribed rites, was
borne by faithful attendants from the bath into the courts of the
Sanctuary and placed upon a couch beside another, upon which already
rested the unconscious form of the lovely Princess Nu-nah.

But Sarthia, although to an external, observer as unconscious as the
fair Nu-nah, was never more intensely awake, every atom of her being
and soul alert to all transpiring about her and conveyed to her
through her marvelous new gifts of clairvoyance and clairaudience.

Never, with the external eye, had she seen more vividly the vista
upon vista of columns and corridors winding in and about the
Sanctuary, now illuminated by the full-orbed Queen of the Night,
which she could see shining through a certain archway, and her heart
thrilled as she counted the number of archways fair Luna must pass
until, at midnight, she would shine down through the one just above
her.

Already had begun the weird chants, interspersed with solos of
exquisite harmonies of stringed and wind instruments--responses and
echoes.

Incense burned and perfumes arose and blended in an indescribable
union with melody and motion, while as the fragrant vapors from the
burning censers wafted and wreathed about the colonnades and
porticoes, Spirit forms added their presence to the sublime scene,
bringing with them flowers, aromas and harmonies from the divine
abodes of the very Gods themselves.

Oblivious of the passage of time, while intently absorbed in every
minutest detail of the wonders passing about her, Sarthia was almost
becoming drowsy, when suddenly, the Moon looked in upon her, fast
nearing the final archway, and yet she was undecided. She turned and
gazed upon her companion, mentally asking, "Can I become Nu-nah?"

Nu-nah was very beautiful and a Princess. But Sarthia was also
beautiful and the blood in her veins was royal, though of a
different branch from the present ruling House.

Nu-nah was cold and haughty, accustomed to rule and be obeyed.

Sarthia was humble externally, a Vestal of the Temple, but in her
mind and soul as imperious as a Queen of the realm of Heaven.
Passionately devoted to the pursuit of Wisdom and the possibilities
of obtaining knowledge, even Magic was open to her, in the Temple
Service. Could she leave her Temple home, her opportunities for
growth, her idolized Priestess, to go into the environments of
Nu-nah?

The thought seemed to her worse than death itself. "Every one has to
die," she mused, "and I may as well die one time as another."

Then another thought came into her mind--Hermo. He had begun to
teach her the mysteries of his science of Astrology. Hermo, for whom
she had a pure sisterly regard and who was so proud of her swift
proficiency in his favorite study. And then she recalled the vision
of the previous night when Hermo had shown to her clairvoyant eye
his agitation at her impending doom.

"But if I become Nu-nah and Nu-nah becomes Sarthia, Hermo will never
know the difference and thus be spared the pain of loving his young
sister. And furthermore, Nu-nah has a lover to whom she is betrothed
and would have married, ere this, but for her lingering malady, the
superb young Prince Rathunor, whom I have never seen."

Ah! here was indeed a most dire complication. Love was a most
mysterious and unknown emotion to her. She might hate Prince
Rathunor and "then we would both wish I had died," and she half
laughed to herself at the domestic comedy thus presented to her
mind.

At this period, either as a reaction from the light thrown, or
lighter thought upon her overwrought nature, or possibly from some
subtle, potent influence emanating from the censer burning near her,
Sarthia lapsed into sudden and most profound unconsciousness.

A few moments later--it seemed to Sarthia as if ages had
intervened--she began a fierce struggle to awake. "Why, how is
this?" she thought. She seemed enveloped in a dead wall of some
kind. The brain, the heart, the infinite ramification of nerves in
no way responded to her will and her utmost effort. Almost worn out
with the unequal battle it began to dawn upon her that she was
really endeavoring to animate the other body. "Am I becoming
Nu-nah?" Yes, in the excitement of the moment she raised herself
upon her couch and, resting upon her elbow, gazed upon the rigid
form of what a moment before had been herself.

But her movement had startled a form beside the couch, some one who
had approached, unobserved by Sarthia, during the interval of
unconsciousness.

A young man who seemed to her the most God-like being she had ever
beheld and perceiving her glance, with a low exclamation of joy,
sprang toward her, clasped her hand in his, and turning her face
upward, gazed with most passionate tenderness into her eyes.

"My Nu-nah, you will live," he murmured. "Do you know your
Rathunor?"

Thrilled to suffocation by the love in his eyes, every atom of her
soul vibrating to a new-born and overwhelming emotion, she felt
herself slowly but surely losing control of her new body. With,
however, one supreme effort she pressed the hand holding hers and
returning the look in his eyes she gave one deep, quivering sigh and
was gone.

When again she regained consciousness she was within her own body.
Rathunor had vanished and the first slanting rays of the Moon were
descending the last aperture.

It was midnight, and she found herself in communication with the
Hierophant, who, from a different portion of the Sanctuary, was
seriously regarding her and again reading her inmost thoughts.

A few moments before she had all but decided that she could not be
Nu-nah, that death now, here in this Holy Sanctuary were better far
than hundreds of years as a Princess of the realm of materiality.
But, a new factor had now entered her being. A force, more subtle
than all Wisdom,--more potent than life or eternity itself,--had
transfused her soul--Love! Love, the first, the highest, the
all-embracing force of the mighty Universe, and with this new love
had been ushered also into being, Jealousy.

"Rathunor loved Nu-nah! Am I not a strange interloper? Was it not
worse by my decision to rob Nu-nah of her lover than to deprive her
of continued physical life?"

For, it seemed to her now, that life without love would be more than
the agonies of the lowest hells. Then again, to live with Rathunor
as his wife, while he all the time thought her to be Nu-nah, would
be an incessant torture, keener and more intense than if she were
chained by, as a third person, to behold him loving the actual
Nu-nah in her own body.

"Holy Father and revered Hierophant," she moaned, "help me, I can
not decide."

"My child," came the mental response to her call, "if you could be
assured that Rathunor would love _you_ in Nu-nah's body, would the
decision be easy?"

"Aye, indeed, dear Father."

"Then rest assured it will be as you desire. We give you our sacred
word that Rathunor will love _you_."

Then, raising his arm, as in benediction, he slowly repeated thrice,
like an incantation, the words, "Rest in Peace," and, ere the echoes
of his voice had died away, the soul of Sarthia had left forever its
earthly abode and Temple.



CHAPTER IV.

WITHIN THE ADYTUM.


For several days, after floating from her body into the Astral
world, Sarthia remained in a state of profound, dreamless slumber
and then gradually passed into a condition of semi-consciousness
with occasional fitful gleams of memory until one day she realized
herself in close proximity to two persons engaged in earnest
conversation and became fully aware of the momentous events that had
just transpired and her present disembodied situation. And with a
thrill indescribable she recognized the voice of Rathunor addressing
the Hierophant.

"And so, most revered Father, all things are progressing favorably
and toward a satisfactory culmination?" he said.

"Even so, my son," was the reply. "And yet," continued the Prince,
"save the one momentary gleam of recognition, upon the first night
of the ceremonies, the soul of the Princess Nu-nah, to all outward
appearance, has left entirely. The body is sustained, apparently, by
some magical process, the nature of which I do not understand."

"True, my son, but that need not disquiet you. The resources of
Nature are many and far from being exhausted. But then, youth is
naturally impatient. Did you so deeply love the Princess?"

At this point Sarthia would have withdrawn but she found that her
desire to stay chained her to the spot, and glancing at the
Hierophant she realized that her presence was known to him and that
he wished her to remain.

The Prince mused thoughtfully for a few moments before replying and
then said with a half sigh, "You know, O Father, that I myself did
not particularly desire that marriage. From my earliest childhood I
have been fond of my cousin and playfellow. As she matured I have
admired, with family pride, her perfect beauty of form, her haughty
spirit and her ability to rule. And yet, as you, who can so easily
read the innermost secrets of the heart, must know I have not been
able to discern the happiness for myself in this union that my soul
would crave, or that you led me to expect in wedded love. If my
ambition irresistibly impelled me to fill the external destinies of
mankind, to become a monarch of unsurpassed power and magnificence,
then would Nu-nah be the royal consort absolutely adapted for such
pride and pomp. But, you know, O Father, all these things are as
empty bubbles and child toys to one aspiring to become a Priest
King, to him who hungers and thirsts, day and night for wisdom, for
knowledge of the more inner secrets of Nature, guarded so jealously
by the Priesthood but revealed by the very Gods themselves to those
worthy to know and fit to use and assist in carrying out the plans
and orderly workings of the very Universe itself.

"In form and feature Nu-nah's image meets my highest ideal, but when
I would speak of the thoughts and ambitions upon which my soul
dwells, then her cold look of incomprehension appalls me with the
vast difference in our natures. Her thoughts can never penetrate
the realm wherein my life-forces are all centered. Never have I
experienced from her the response my love would crave."

"Have you then never at any time felt that Nu-nah's love for you
could be trained and in time evolved to the plane whereby she would
respond to you?"

"Nu-nah does not seem capable of the love of soul. She accepts me as
a lover due her, and whose attention and presence gratify her pride
and vanity. Never once, or perhaps only once, have I ever seen or
imagined I saw a recognition of love, and that was the night of the
full Moon, during the recent ceremonies. As, with your permission, I
for a moment drew near the couch on which she reposed, she suddenly
raised to a half-sitting position and seemed strangely startled by
my presence. With a thrill of hope, that finally love was
awakening, I sprang forward and spake anxiously and fondly to her.
For the first time in all my life her glance vibrated to my heart's
very core. My brain reeled with intoxication as she pressed my hand,
and the love from her eyes burns now into my soul as I recall that
one second of bliss. But, alas! she fell back into her former
lifeless state and lingers so until I am in doubt if after all it
were not some illusion connected with the wonderful Magic of that
night."

"Nay," said the Hierophant, "I can assure you that what you
experienced was _real_ and that if this matter reaches a successful
issue you will henceforward find in Nu-nah all that your soul
desires, that ever will her eager spirit lead yours in the pursuit
of knowledge and the highest wisdom."

Then the Hierophant turning, mentally addressed Sarthia, the unseen
witness of the interview, "Am I not right in making this pledge for
you to Rathunor? Think you we have also fulfilled our promise that
Rathunor shall love you?"

But her heart was too full to reply. He then directed her attention
to her location and surroundings and for the first time she became
aware with amazement, almost terror, that she was within "THE
SACRED ADYTUM--THE HOLY OF HOLIES," while the Hierophant and
Rathunor were within an adjoining court and private apartment of the
High Priest.

"My child," said the Hierophant in reply to her speechless inquiry
as to the meaning of this wonder, "there are no barriers to the
disembodied soul. This place, so religiously guarded, so
inaccessible to the ordinary mortal, is open to any soul having
passed a certain grade of initiation into the divine mysteries of
Nature and attained unto that purity of heart whereby man may see
his God.

"To-morrow night, on the occasion of the new Moon, will be
consecrated within this Holy Chamber, the union of your soul with
that of Rathunor's and here also will be consummated that mystic
transfer between your soul and that of Nu-nah's.

"And now, I leave you here while I accompany Rathunor. As you
gradually lapse into the sweet silence of this Holy place, observe
the meaning of some of the stupendous mysteries of Nature revealed
here openly to the one having eyes to see and possessing the gift of
understanding."

Her first sensation on being left alone was, that she was floating
like the vapor of a breath upon the swaying wreaths of burning
incense, and as she reclines thus in blissful repose there dawned
upon her vision a view of the vast Temple in its absolute entirety.
It assumed the strange outline of a gigantic human body, all its
intricacies becoming orderly correspondencies of the human organism
in its multitudinous ramifications. Then all the vast ceremonial of
this body passed in review before her mind, each rite symbolic of
some function, physical, mental and spiritual, and she marveled at
the adaptability of the parts to each other and then to the grand
whole.

But, above all, was she impressed by the depth in depths of meaning
of this Sacred Adytum in its symbolic relation to the whole
structure. However, ere she could tarry to reflect, the nature of
the vision changed as if her eye had been turned suddenly from the
lense of a Microscope to that of an immense Telescope. Before her
view stretched the starry Zodiac, in outline, the same as its
prototype, the human body--the Grand Temple. The Sun and its solar
system corresponding to various vital functions in the human
organism, but the crowning wonder of all came as she comprehended
the relation which our planet, mother Earth, bore to the Grand Man
of the skies, and her soul was overwhelmed as all the implications
of this relation rushed in upon her being.



CHAPTER V.

THE TRANSFER.


According to the calculations made by the chief Astrologer Priest it
was just at midnight that the conjunction of the luminaries took
place in the Zodiacal sign belonging to the Moon. This union of the
luminous orbs of the day and night is powerfully magical in its
results.

The vibrations, set in motion by this mighty union of the positive
and negative forces of Nature, react, not only upon the waters and
the Earth, but the human family. Not only does the mighty ocean obey
this wonderful influence in the ebb and flow of its tides, but the
Earth, as she rotates upon her axis, obeys this mighty power and
manifests in her depths and heights in her serpentine movement about
the Sun.

Nature's laws are very exact and man, to become the Arbiter of his
own destiny, must blend his energies in harmony with those of
Nature.

Agreeable to appointment and the arrangements to be made it was
necessary for the Hierophant and the Holy men of the Temple to
assemble at an early hour, although the Transfer was not to take
place until midnight.

Much preparation was necessary as a most momentous ceremony was to
be performed this night; one that rarely ever was performed, owing
to the fact that few of the Temple Priests were initiated into these
sacred Magical Rites. They were too Sacred and Holy to be imparted
to many, too dangerous for possible failures, too infinite in
responsibilities accompanying such undertakings. Only those where
the mind, soul and spirit, blended as one in their organism, were
ever entrusted with the interior knowledge of the Sacred Adytum--The
Holy of Holies.

Only the invocations were to be made, the chants and ceremonies
belonging to the Holy Sanctuary were to be observed. The air was
ladened with the sweet fragrance of incense and those subtle
perfumes that are so delightful and enticing to the soul. Hours
before the solemn Rites were to be performed, every part of the Holy
Temple must be permeated with their magical and mystical influence.

The bodies of both Sarthia and Nu-nah lay in state before the Altar
in the Holy Sanctuary, both robed and perfumed as if for burial.

The Hierophant of the Temple, the Priests and the Lay Priests, and
the Priestesses with their Vestal Virgins, were now assembled in
their respective places.

The hour of midnight had arrived. The chants now begun, set in
vibration the spiritual forces that appeal only to the soul and
spirit.

The subtle, silent will of the High Priest mentally commanded the
presence of the departed spirit of Sarthia. At his bidding, she came
floating toward him, and when within a certain distance from her
inanimate body, she remained hovering over it. Most willingly and
joyfully she came, knowing the promise of the High Priest would be
realized when she became able to animate and control the body and
mind of what was still Nu-nah's.

Rathunor was present at the urgent request of the Priest. He little
dreamed why his presence was so much desired, and how he, who was so
ignorant of the Temple rules and service, could be of any
assistance.

A spark had been kindled within his very soul, the night that
Sarthia found herself in Nu-nah's temple and for a moment
consciously remembered and spoke, that had been burning deeper and
deeper until now, it was ready to burst forth as an ever-living
flame at the first breath of hope that this new emotion was of the
soul--real and immortal.

Did he dare for a moment listen to the whispering of the interior
self? Fear alone made him drive back and quell the monitions that
sprang from within, for O, if they were only vain hopes could he
survive the disappointment? The thought was crushing, and better,
he thought, not to hope than believe an illusion.

The magnetic chord that yet held Nu-nah to her frail, prostrated
body had not yet been severed. The unconscious soul hung or rather
floated about its temple, apparently waiting for a stronger force
from the interior realm to call it away.

The Hierophant stepped to the front of the Altar and, raising his
hands, invoked the presence of the Gods and their assistance in this
Sacred ceremony of making that Transfer of the spiritual life-line
that binds the spirit to soul, and soul to body.

As the two souls hung suspended by these magnetic life-chords above
their own bodies, through the magical influences of the Priests,
the chants and music came closer and closer, as if drawn together by
some strong magnetic attraction.

Sarthia, now, as well as Nu-nah, was unconscious of what was taking
place. Nu-nah's was the natural unconscious state of an undeveloped
soul in passing from the physical temple to the realms beyond, while
Sarthia's was purposely induced by the magical will of the Operator.

The middle of the mystical hour had just been reached when the two
life-lines met and blended for one single instant, then separated
and, obeying the powerful wills of the Priests, became polarized in
each other's body.

The magical invisible agency that had been animating the body of
Sarthia was now withdrawn, and the soul of Nu-nah's gradually but
faintly began to supply the animating force to revive and control
the apparently lifeless form.

Sarthia's spiritual consciousness was not immediately allowed to
return. The awakening must be gradual to her, for knowing what was
being done, the joy and ecstacy of a prolonged life in the holy
bonds of pure love with Rathunor would be disastrous if suddenly
conveyed to her consciousness.

The High Priest, turning to Rathunor, said, "Our beloved pupil,
return now to your usual duties, but fail not to return to the
Temple a little before twelve o'clock to-morrow night."

Now the bodies of Sarthia and Nu-nah were removed to another part of
the Temple. The Priestesses and Vestals, with the choir and
musicians, were dismissed as the first part of the solemn and
sacred Rites was over, but the Priests remained, never stopping in
their magical work, for yet the vibrations of the new-born souls
were not of sufficient strength and power to remain unassisted,
especially that of Nu-nah's.



CHAPTER VI.

THE AWAKENING.


The constant presence of some of the Priests of the Temple had been
near the bodies of Nu-nah and Sarthia continuously for the last
twenty-four hours, and by their magic assistance the vibrations of
the souls to their new tenements grew stronger and quite harmonious.

The hour of midnight was again near at hand. The reviving forms of
the two young girls were again brought into the Holy Sanctuary of
the Temple and placed in front of the Altar and the Hierophant who
had already taken his position.

The Priestesses of the Temple with their Vestals were quietly and
solemnly wending their way to their usual places. The choir had
begun to chant the opening service when Rathunor with one of the
Priests approached with slow and measured strides as if a false
movement would disturb the solemnity of this midnight's mystic
silence.

As they approached the spot where the two bodies lay, there was a
perceptible movement, as of consciousness in the silent form of
Nu-nah.

Just as the distant chimes pealed forth their announcement of the
midnight hour the Hierophant arose and stepped forth to the front of
the Altar and, at a silent signal, there broke forth, as of one
voice, the low-distant strains of the most enchanting music. The
voices and the tones from the musical instruments were so
harmoniously and wonderfully blended that the result was magically
effective. The strains increased in volume--they seemed to approach
nearer and nearer--until the whole edifice resounded and re-echoed
as though filled with one vast orchestra sounding forth the Anthem
of Creative Life, "We Praise Thee, O God."

This enchanting music continued for some time, then gently died away
until only the breathings of music could be heard, when the
Hierophant raised his hands as if in supplication. The solemn, awful
stillness of the hour was awe-inspiring.

Once, twice, thrice, the voice of the Hierophant resounded
throughout the Sanctuary as he thus spoke to their souls:

"Arise, O ye daughter of Isis, come forth and again enter the daily
lives of a Vestal and a Princess. Many years now are granted to
your service, and now that you have both been beyond the dividing
line of this and the other plane, your lives henceforth should be
guided and influenced by that experience."

At this he descended from the Altar and took the helpless hand of
Sarthia to magically convey to the silent, lifeless body the
electric forces of life.

Turning to Rathunor, who stood near, beckoning him to his side, he
took his hand and led him to that which _was_ Nu-nah's body, and
gently raising the apparently lifeless hand of the silent form
placed it within that of Rathunor's. The effect was indeed magical.

Rathunor was held spell-bound, the thrilling sensations, the
emotions that sprang forth from the heart were electrifying. He
could feel the tense vibrations passing from his hand to that of her
body, the source of which he could not fathom nor understand, and
little did he care at that moment when he perceived the slight
tremor that was creeping over the heretofore lifeless form of his
Princess Nu-nah.

Here, Rathunor would have been overcome by his emotions of joyful
bliss and thrown himself prostrate at the feet of the Priest in
thankful gratitude for the restoration to life of his lovely Nu-nah,
had not the Hierophant just at this moment laid his hand upon
Rathunor's shoulder saying, "My child, have you become unconscious
of the place and the occasion, and the solemn promise you gave me to
bravely follow my instructions without a show of weakness. Let not
an outward manifestation of your feelings escape you again. Are you
yourself again?"

With a mighty effort of his will Rathunor commanded an outward calm
at least, but he could not speak, he could only bow his head in
assurance and being told to retain the hand of Nu-nah, the Priest
continued audibly, "In the name of the Almighty and ever-living God
I now join these two souls as one. May their consciousness of this,
their soul-union, dawn upon their outward memory as time proceeds,
and then journey together in conscious union on the eternal path of
progress to the Divine Throne of God. Amen! Amen!"

Rathunor heard but did not understand and being overcome by the
silent over-powering influence surrounding him, fell insensible to
the floor beside the reviving form of Nu-nah.

As soon as he had been conveyed to an outer court, the Hierophant
again continued. Turning his attention to Sarthia, mentally he
called three times, "Nu-nah, Nu-nah, Nu-nah, henceforth you shall be
known as Sarthia the Vestal. May the guardian angels that have been
placed over your reviving body, keep and hold the soul with it until
health of body and strength of mind returns. God bless our new-found
Vestal. Amen."

As the last echo of the Priest's voice died away the music burst in
a joyful song of praise, and continued until the bodies of each of
the young girls were removed. Sarthia's to that formerly occupied by
the Vestal, and Nu-nah's to that of the home of the Princess.

Rathunor soon revived in the fresh air of the outer court and now
being summoned by a messenger from the Hierophant presented himself
again before him.

"My son," said the High Priest, "go to the home of the Princess and
remain, either with, or near her until three cycles of seven shall
pass by. At the end of twenty-one days you may return to your own
home and enter the accustomed life of a Prince, until that time
shall come when the Prince of the world shall enter the path that
leads to a King of Wisdom," and with a fervent press of the hand and
a benediction for his soul's welfare he bid him good-night and
retired from the Holy Sanctuary.



CHAPTER VII.

A VISIT TO THE CHIEF ASTROLOGER.


A few weeks after the preceding ceremonies, a messenger announced to
the Astrologer Priest that the Priestess sought an interview.

Hermo was at his post making the usual, daily calculations for the
Priest. As the Priestess entered, Hermo arose, and was about to
withdraw, when the Priestess, by a wave of her hand, gave him to
understand his presence was required.

The Priestess began, "O, most Venerated Father, I come again to ask
assistance, with your astrological knowledge, in behalf of Sarthia.
The memory of the past seems to be entirely blotted out. Is there
any aspect showing that memory will return, and if not, at what time
do the planets indicate a commencement of the training of the mind
that will bring a successful issue in spiritual things? We will have
to commence with her as a child and train the body, mind and soul to
Vestal Service."

The Astrologer turned to Hermo and said, "Hear you the request of
our Priestess here? Make note, and see at what time the planets
point favorably to the initiation of our new Sarthia into the Temple
Service of Isis."

"How is our new Sarthia?" inquired the Priest.

"Nothing, as yet," answered the Priestess, "But that does not
disturb my hope and faith that she will become all that we wish and
desire of her, and instead of having but one Vestal we shall have
two, for ere long Nu-nah will also be numbered among our Vestals,
and Rathunor as one of our Priests."

Thanking the Priest for his promised service the Priestess withdrew.

The Astrologer returned to his studies and was soon absorbed with
them, when, suddenly he turned to Hermo and said, "Hermo, I shall
place Sarthia under your special tutelage as soon as she is ready to
commence her studies in Astrology."

The suddenness of the Priest's remarks quite confused the young
scribe and set him to seriously thinking. Strange thoughts came into
his mind, "why should Sarthia _not_ continue her studies with me,
why would she become a special and _not_ a fellow student?"

He could not account for these strange thoughts that had been
excited within his mind, and the rest of the hours of work did not
show the usual amount accomplished.

At an early hour the next night, before Hermo had arrived for his
night's work, the Astrologer Priest sent for the Priestess. She
hastily responded to the summons feeling there was some very
important news to be received. As soon as she entered the Priest
said, "Most noble Priestess, I find by the calculations made, that
not before another month may our infant child, Sarthia, be
initiated, as a pupil, into the Temple of Isis. Two days before the
full Moon the spiritual rays will be most active and potent, and
being of so harmonious a nature we may hope for the most
satisfactory results. The task will be slow and require much
patience, my Priestess, for the hereditary tendencies of the brain,
that have so far influenced that soul's life and experiences, will
have to be polarized in other channels and gradually awakened to
consciousness. The life of the body it has been animating in past
years was not of such a nature as to mature a healthy soul.

"The work now, with our new Sarthia, is with the Soul, to make it
equal to the brain that has been cultivated and enlarged in
spiritual ways; while with Nu-nah, the work will be in arousing and
developing that brain to the conscious response of the matured soul.
Do I make myself plain to you? In my young pupil, Hermo, we will
have a most valuable assistant in our work with Sarthia, for I have
discovered that the divine relation of brother and sister exists
between them. They are blest with being the emanations from the same
divine state and children of the same spiritual parents. I spoke to
Hermo of Sarthia last night, at the same time _willing_ that my new
discovery might be imparted to his soul, which I could see had been
partially accomplished.

"We will allow them often in each other's society, and that holy
love of brother of sister, and sister of brother, which can only be
kindled in the outer heart when this spiritual relation exists.

"This will soon be recognized by each of them, and this alone will
be a most potent influence in nourishing and teaching the soul of
Sarthia. Nothing lies in Sarthia's path that portends serious evil
for many years to come. Therefore, my good Priestess, take new hope
and courage, and not many Moons will grow and wane before an inward
pride will be born for your new Vestal."

The Priestess retired after thanking him most cordially, and could
hardly conceal her emotions of joy and rapture until she was safe in
her own apartments, where she could give full vent, in tears and
cries of joy and gratitude.

As soon as all traces of the effects, which this knowledge had
produced, were erased, and she became perfectly calm and composed,
she sought Sarthia's chamber. The young girl was reclining upon a
couch that had been drawn near the window, apparently much absorbed
in studying the heavens. Scarcely did she notice the presence of the
Priestess until she knelt beside her and said, "What thoughts are
being born in my Sarthia's mind as she views the mighty heavens
above with its millions of silent monitors, awaiting our pleasure to
read and understand? Are they speaking to my darling child? Do you
hear their silent voices and feel their subtle and powerful
influences upon you?"

The young girl did not reply immediately. The body was still very
weak and feeble, the mind was as one just awakening from a prolonged
slumber.

"My beloved Priestess, did you speak to me of the stars, those
loving lights in the heavens? They do seem to speak, but I can not
understand and know what they say. Do you, dear Mother, and can you
tell me?"

This first ray of awakening memory was more radiant to the Priestess
than a thousand stars could have produced if all their rays could
have blended into one. But calmness was her external bearing.
Seldom any manifestation of an unusual emotion, was permitted to
find an outward expression either in manner or speech. She had
attained that perfect command of herself that neither joy nor
sorrow, good nor evil, praise nor blame, could unbalance the perfect
poise and tranquillity of her developed Soul.

"My Sarthia," replied the Priestess, "I can not know what they are
saying to _you_, but they do speak to me. They tell me that life is
immortal, that the growth and the progress of the soul are eternal,
that we may know and read their language while in these bodies if we
try; then as we draw nearer and nearer to them, as our souls grow
and become familiar with their teachings, we can know them as well,
if not better, than our Astrologer Priests do, also as well as your
brother Hermo is learning to do."

"My--brother--Hermo," and there was a perceptible light of
intelligence in the eyes for a moment.

The Priestess was not speaking to the mind, but to the soul, at the
same time willing to find a response there. The mere words availed
nothing to her, only in so much as they expressed the longings and
desires of the interior self.

As Sarthia said no more, the Priestess arose and, moving quietly
about the room, gave a few directions and cautions to those in
attendance, then presently withdrew.

That night was passed by the Priestess in her own private chamber,
not in sleep and rest, but actively and earnestly engaged in silent
prayer for her new-born children, Nu-nah, Sarthia and Rathunor.



CHAPTER VIII.

PRINCESS NU-NAH.


The morning following the Priestess' visit to Sarthia's apartments,
she sent a messenger to inquire for the welfare of Princess Nu-nah.

She was reported to have slept well, seemed much stronger, but a
peculiar change had taken place during her almost fatal illness. She
spoke strangely, almost weirdly at times, which excited much comment
and anxiety amongst her immediate friends and relatives.

The Princess had been a general favorite and much admired by those
occupying the same station in life with herself; but by those who
were subject to her commands and rule, she was looked upon as cold,
stern, and heartless, kind in her way when obeyed, but the slightest
disobedience brought scornful reproaches and often punishment.

The Priestess, knowing the source of the peculiar change spoken of,
felt that all was well. No other attention than the presence of
Rathunor was needed. The developed soul of the Vestal Sarthia would
soon come into control of the brain she was now trying to find
expression through.

Then, too, the organs of the brain that Sarthia's soul would
naturally vibrate, had never become active, nor developed; they, as
it were, were dormant, fast asleep, awaiting the pulsating
vibrations of the spiritual influx to give them life and usefulness.
While those that had been so fully developed in the brain, by the
life of the Princess, found no corresponding vibrations from the
soul.

Truly, a strange commingling of the two opposing forces, and one in
which time was required to bring about perfect adjustment.

The High Priest had commanded all visitors to be excluded, except
Rathunor, who was to have access at all times, and as the
Hierophant's word was that of God to them, so, purely from a
religious standpoint, they were strictly obeyed. While the Priestess
and others of the Temple knew the secret of the Priest's strict
injunctions, they likewise knew that none of Sarthia's associates
dared approach, lest their presence would too suddenly awake to
consciousness the slumbering soul, before the brain had yet fully
responded and vibrated to the new animating spark of life.

Rathunor, most of all, observed the change in the Princess; at the
slightest touch there was a response within--his very presence
struck the chords of sympathy that existed between them. This was,
to him, a very unaccountable change. In all his life association
with Nu-nah these emotions, that now seemed to spring from the soul,
had never before been experienced. He was very much inclined to
attribute it to an abnormal sympathy aroused by her sickness and
terrible suffering. Still, the words of the High Priest haunted him
and the feelings born from within, on the night of the solemn Rites
at the Temple, could not be vanished by any amount of reasoning;
still he would not allow such thoughts to be nourished by the
slightest hope--much less be watered by the spirit of faith and
allowed to grow. Although Rathunor was brave in external pain, and
daringly courageous in acts of chivalry, he was an infant when
subject to disappointment. Here was the battle of self going on.

"Have I the strength and manly courage to bear the disappointment
born from a delusive hope? Not yet." So he suffered and heeded not
the whisperings from within, until he could not endure it any
longer, when he sought the presence of the Hierophant for advice and
enlightenment. Scarcely able to hold in check his impatience he
burst forth without the recognition due the superior presence of a
High Priest.

"O, most Holy and Revered Father, tell me, am I wrong in not
listening to the monitions that are racking my inmost being? May I
hope the love that is growing within my soul will be surely
recognized and reciprocated by Nu-nah on her return to physical
health? Is this love a vain delusion on my part, an imagination born
from sympathies that will vanish as soon as health is restored and
we enter the whirl of the social world again? If it is in thy power,
O Father, tell me the truth. Repeat thy assuring words once more,
and I will be guided by them in the future, and never again allow
the shadow of doubt to cross the threshold of my mind."

"My child," said the High Priest, "once more I assure you of the
loving response of Nu-nah's soul and mind, as soon as she is herself
again. But, mark you well, at the return of consciousness, be not
rash in any of your words or acts; remember, her return to life is
as a new-born babe--weak, tender and easily impressed by stronger
minds and wills than its own. You are the stronger at present, and
all patience and indulgence are exacted from you. Let her
imaginations and fancies play as they will for awhile; yours must be
calm, loving, sympathetic and unwavering in hope and faith that all
will eventually be well; and again, I assure you that not many years
shall pass before you will enter the path and the life your soul is
now longing for. Princess Nu-nah will more than compensate you for
all the kind attentions you now bestow upon her in the guiding,
teaching and leading your soul in the paths to spiritual knowledge
and the spiritual life, while still inhabiting the physical form.

"The hungerings of your soul shall be more than satisfied by her
ministering spirit. The interior consciousness will gradually dawn
upon you both, but to Nu-nah first." Then, taking Rathunor by the
hand, he continued, "Doubt no more, my child, have faith in the
Infinite Wisdom that guides and directs the struggling soul through
the intricate ways of evolution up to the final consciousness of
Immortal Life. God be with and bless you."

Rathunor had no words to express his gratitude. But they would have
been useless to the Hierophant, for the new-born light that shone
forth, though dimly, was more to the Priest than a world of words.

He merely looked, bowed, and with a fervent pressure of the hand,
was gone from the presence of the Holy Priest. As he retraced his
steps toward the home of Princess Nu-nah, a holy calm pervaded his
whole being; his doubts fled as an enemy; his excitement was
transformed into tranquil earnestness; a sublime sense of the
realities of life filled his brain, and a willingness to await the
progress and development, that time would bring forth and mature,
possessed him, until he was so changed that he scarcely recognized
himself.

Was this change volitional?



CHAPTER IX.

THE INITIATION.


Days of weary watching, and toilsome care that the new-born Vestal
would not be misled in her awakening thoughts, were necessary. The
body needed but little care other than the proper nourishment and
attention of any one in usual health. Sarthia's physical organism
had not become depleted by disease and suffering, and the
disorganization that had commenced was checked by the magical agent
that had been placed over it, even before Sarthia had entirely left
it.

The lethargy was more mental than physical. It was that
semi-consciousness that precedes sleep, or that one sometimes
experiences when awakened suddenly out of a deep, profound slumber.

The Priestess visited her many times throughout the day when she
could spare the time from her duties in the Temple. In the course of
a few days Sarthia was able to be assisted in short walks about the
halls and corridors, but took little heed of things about her. Day
by day, the body grew stronger and a new light began to dawn in the
eyes and shone upon the countenance of the fair young girl.

In the meantime, Hermo had been apprised by the Astrologer Priest of
the true relation existing between himself and Sarthia. His joy knew
no bounds, for neither his heart nor soul had ever thrilled with the
love of mother, sister, or kindred. It had been his misfortune to
be deprived of his parents before his young mind and heart could be
moved by the tender emotions of love, but now it needed no more than
the Priest's revelations to kindle into flaming fires that
something, he knew not what, that had been smoldering in his bosom
all his life.

Now, the Astrologer's words were clear and the cause of the strange
thoughts that were excited in his mind was revealed. Over and over
he asked himself, "Can I wait to see my beloved sister?"

His impatience became equal with his joy, and days that had before
passed as moments now seemed as ages. One morning, much to the
Priestess' surprise, a messenger announced that Hermo desired an
interview with her in the waiting-room below. The Priestess
descended to where Hermo was waiting and, with a questioning look
in her face, clasped his hand in a firm but anxious manner,
inquired, "Is all well with our young Astrologer, Hermo, this
morning. Does he bring tidings from our revered Father? Has any new
testimony been given by the stars that portends evil to our
Sarthia?"

Hermo stood in mute astonishment. "How could the Priestess receive
such forebodings from his presence when his whole being was
throbbing with pulsations of unbounded happiness," he thought.

"Nay, my dear Priestess, quite the reverse. Has not our worthy
Father acquainted you with my new-found joy, my Love--my Sister?
Know you not the divine relation that exists between Sarthia and
myself? The hours have seemed days since this knowledge was
revealed to me and I now beg to see my new sister and walk with her
and yourself upon the lawn in the private grounds of the Temple. Can
my request be granted, O Priestess?"

She still retained his hand and, again pressing it warmly between
her own, said, "Our brave and noble Hermo deserves this blessing as
a reward for his honest toil alone in his struggle for Truth and
Knowledge. Yes, my dear Hermo, I was made aware of the relation
between you and our new Sarthia and have been anxious for this
moment to arrive when you would be sent to escort Sarthia in her
daily walks about the grounds, but I caution you to be guarded in
your words. Remember she is yet but an infant and must be taught as
a child. Remain here and I will go and bring Sarthia thither and we
will walk together."

It was not long before the Priestess, Sarthia and her attendant
appeared. The Priestess was leading Sarthia and as they approached
Hermo placed her hand in that of his saying, "Sarthia, I place you
in the care and protection of your brother Hermo."

"Hermo! Hermo!! My brother Hermo?" said Sarthia.

To the penetrating eyes of the Priestess and Hermo the light of
consciousness was momentarily seen and to the clairvoyant vision of
the Priestess a startling scene was beheld. The vibrations of soul
to soul, the love that had been kindled in Hermo's heart and soul
went out with such intensity that it aroused into a vivid activity
the slumbering soul of Sarthia, and the brain, being already so
finely tuned to the higher vibrations of the Spirit, responded at
once.

The fresh air, the green grass, the beautiful flowers and shrubbery,
with the inspiring presence of Hermo, were like magic to quicken the
pulsations of body and mind and bring to her cheek and eyes the
flush of health and life. Not much of the conversation was directed
to Sarthia, but when reference to the stars was made, she instantly
inquired, "Brother Hermo, do the stars speak to you, and do you know
what they say? Our lovely Priestess here can read them, and how much
I would love to speak with them, too."

"I will teach you how some day, my sister, as soon as you are able
to commence your studies."

"Will that be soon?"

"Yes, in a short time; so soon as you become an attendant in The
Temple of Isis."

       *       *       *       *       *

Sarthia was silent, and the Priestess reminded them it was time to
return,--Sarthia to her room and Hermo to his studies, while the
Priestess' presence was required in the Temple.

       *       *       *       *       *

These walks continued daily with most satisfactory results to the
Priestess and the Hierophant. All fears of the perfect harmonizing
of the new soul to the body of Sarthia were allayed. The animating
spark of life was growing stronger and the vibrations from soul to
body were complete; not with consciousness, but that involuntary
vibratory exchange that exists with the majority of the people that
make up the earth's human family. As only the higher portion of the
brain of Sarthia had been active the soul must necessarily manifest
itself through those organs. Often, were the much beloved Priestess,
Hermo and Sarthia's attendants, surprised at her expressions and
profound questions on spiritual subjects.

It was nearing the time when Sarthia was to take her initiatory step
as a Vestal in the Temple of Isis. In fact, only one more day
intervened before the ceremony was to take place. As the incidents
relative to the transfer were known to all the Temple attendants, it
was looked forward to with much silent rejoicing and gratitude that
they had not been robbed of their lovely Vestal who always was held
in sacred esteem by them all.

All had been notified to prepare for the Initiatory service--the
music, chants, and ceremonies sacred to this occasion, must be in
readiness. The night had arrived; the fair Goddess of the night
shone forth in all her radiant splendor, seemingly conscious, that
she was shedding forth the magnetic influence necessary for the
sacred Rites now about to be performed. It had almost reached the
Zenith when the solemn march of the Priestesses, Vestals and
attendants that were to conduct Sarthia to the Holy Sanctuary of the
Temple started. The Priestess walked beside Sarthia. Sarthia was
clothed in pure spotless linen, her head was bare with the exception
of a wreath of laurel leaves that rested lightly upon her flowing
hair. In her hands she carried a white-bound volume which contained
the songs, chants, litany and regime for the Vestals of the Temple.

Just as they reached the door, the High Priest arose, and
simultaneously the music burst forth in joyful strains that spoke
welcome, courage and love to the heart of Sarthia. When they reached
the foot of the altar, where stood the Hierophant, Sarthia knelt
upon a velvet cushion at his feet. The music ceased while the High
Priest stood with uplifted hands in silent prayer. At a signal, the
choir began chanting the Litany. Sarthia was bidden to rise, when
the Priest, in measured and solemn tones, addressed her:

"Do you come to pledge yourself to Temple Service? Is it your desire
to become a Vestal of Isis? Do you take the pledge of celibacy to
the virgin Rites of the Temple; your time, energy and purpose to be
devoted to the duties that devolve upon a Vestal?"

The low, clear voice of Sarthia was heard throughout the Sanctuary
as she bowed and answered in assent.

"So be it, my holy virgin. I now commit your soul to the Guardian
Angels of this Sacred Sanctuary to guide, guard and protect your
budding soul to perfect at-one-ment with its divine center, that you
may inherit immortal life while yet with us. Amen!"

Sarthia opened the book within her hands and, kissing its pages
which she had already subscribed to, handed it to the High Priest.
He took it, and held it in his left, while he placed his right hand
upon her head, and said:

"I bid thee welcome, my Vestal Sarthia, and commend thy soul to the
Gods above, that ever keep watch o'er the children of earth. God
bless thee. Amen! Amen!"

Then, as if they were voicing the words of the Hierophant, the
chants grew louder, the music poured forth in grander tones as
though to join the invisible hosts above in praise to God most high.

The ceremony was over and Sarthia was conducted back to her chamber,
a Vestal of The Temple of Isis. The occult powers that had been
evoked in behalf of Sarthia soon became manifest in her daily life.
The zeal and zest with which she pursued her studies and the
understanding of their interior meanings were sufficient evidence of
her teacher's inspiring influence. She was soon placed under her
brother Hermo's instruction in astronomical and astrological lore,
and here also displayed a proficiency in learning that surprised
Hermo and delighted the Astrologer Priests. At Temple Service she
was all devotion and, as an Attendant, ever true and faithful. The
brother and sister became devotedly attached to each other and the
Priestess often observed this attachment, which sent a pang through
her heart, lest such joy and happiness might not be granted Hermo
for the remainder of his life. Then instantly would she offer a
silent prayer that such supreme happiness would be theirs throughout
eternity.



CHAPTER X.

THE PRINCESS' WEDDING.


The Princess' recovery was very slow, owing to the great depletion
of the physical body during her recent illness. Much care and
attention were bestowed upon her by her royal friends. All the
luxury which wealth alone could procure, and the kindly influences
of loving associates were brought to bear to speedily hasten the
restoration of their Princess to her former health and spirits.
Health was slowly but surely gaining the ascendency, but the spirits
of heart and mind were not of that buoyant, external nature that she
formerly displayed.

With her return to health, demands of a social nature were made
upon her. She enjoyed pleasures but a seriousness attended her every
movement that much annoyed her friends. The attendants and servants
were excited to wonder at her kind and thoughtful interests of
them--while many thought it was due to her weak physical condition,
others remarked, how much the Princess' sickness had improved her.
Those that before feared her, now began to love and seek to please
and serve her.

Rathunor was a daily visitor, and remembering the advice and
instructions of the Hierophant he was calm, silent, and patient in
his attentions to her and apparently took no heed of her fancies and
strange conversation. She would constantly plan amusements and
social entertainments on a grand scale, but with such a seriousness
of purpose that it quite annoyed Rathunor at times and caused him to
wonder if this was really his former Nu-nah.

While the annoyance came purely from the external, there was an
interior attraction that was, irresistibly, holding him spell-bound
to her side. His happiness now was greatest when they sat, rode or
walked in silence. Little did he dream, while in that silence which
so enraptured him, the soul of Nu-nah was blending and drawing the
electric life-essence from his own to hers. That interchange was
going on wherein there is no robbery, but an inter-blending of the
magnetic and electric life-forces that cause to spring into activity
the harmonious vibrations of a complete whole, and the reaction upon
both brain and the physical organism was health, contentment and
happiness that rises above all external cares, sorrows and discords.

Although the soul of the, now known, Princess was highly developed
it could find but few responsive echoes from the dormant spiritual
organs of the brain. These she must arouse to sensitiveness and
action. It was this that gave rise to the peculiar ideas, expressed
in her conversation, that so mystified her friends. Visitors soon
began to pour in upon her congratulations, presents and invitations
to once again enter the gilded salons of fashion and the round of
amusements that are the daily life of a favorite Princess. To all
she gave a modest, quiet reply, neither accepting nor rejecting
their attentions, which left them in wondering doubt at times of her
sanity.

In the midst of some grand occasion she would be suddenly missed and
on being sought out would be found concealed in some pleasant nook,
or even out in the open air, or beside an open window, absorbed in
meditation or gazing into the heavens. When her attention was
attracted she would start and, with a strange, far-away look in her
eyes that would indicate to a superficial observer she had been
asleep, would allow herself to be led back and enter the festivities
of the hour.

With all their efforts they could not enthuse her with the
excitement and merriment surrounding her. But, if any one should
become serious and express thoughts that appealed to the interior,
she was all attention and the questions that were so ready when such
an opportunity afforded showed plainly that, although present in
body, the soul and interests were in other realms and spheres than
this.

No one but Rathunor could hold her attention for any length of time.
With him she was animated, and charmingly beautiful and joyous and
would, with some enthusiasm, enter into the pleasantries of the hour
which brought to her face the charming attraction of natural beauty.
Behind those orbs of vision there seemed to shine forth a light that
was more radiant than the gorgeously brilliant illuminations of the
salons. Her beautiful face, her perfect form and bearing, made her
the center of attraction and she was much sought after. But, as soon
as she was induced to leave Rathunor's side, that which made her
presence so irresistibly attractive and radiant before, faded out.

Thus time passed on, and as health returned, Prince Rathunor pressed
his suit. There was now, no apparent reason why he could not claim
his promised bride and make the Princess Nu-nah his own. His more
earnest friends cautioned him to wait further developments and, in
an undertone, reminded him of the peculiar and unnatural bearing of
the Princess at times. They were sure, in time, their once lovely
Princess would be herself again. Rathunor listened, knowing their
kindly interest sprang from good motives, but he was silent--he
could not speak for none would understand. The yearnings of his
heart and soul would not be quelled by any outward show.

While to the world Nu-nah was a source of mystical wonder, to
Rathunor she was his stay and comfort. He needed no further evidence
and assurance of Nu-nah's love for him. Too often had he experienced
the response from within to her silent pleadings for light, truth
and wisdom. The attraction of the outer world was losing its
fascination for him, the longings from within grew stronger and more
clamorous for outward expression until, one day, he advanced the
subject of astrology to the Princess Nu-nah. For an instant, her
whole being was illuminated by that mysterious light--for a single
moment the soul arose to the supremacy of the brain and found a
faint glimmering expression that was visible to Rathunor's
ever-watchful eye.

"Astrology, my Rathunor, fascinates me with its name and the
wonders and mysteries it is said to reveal. Do you think those
Astrologer Priests of the Temple know whereof they speak, and do
they read the stars and gain from them the wisdom they are said to
possess?"

Here was the first opportunity to present these sacred subjects to
Nu-nah's mind. He tried to think and, feeling that the present
excitement of the brain's higher organs, was of a temporary nature,
he was really at a loss what to say that would be most effective and
impress itself indelibly upon her awakening brain.

"Yes, my dear Nu-nah, I believe they do possess the knowledge they
claim and, I also am convinced that much of that wisdom and
knowledge is gained through their understanding the laws of
astrology. Those celestial bodies in our heavens were not placed
there by our Divine Creator without a purpose. I believe they have
an influence upon us that can be learned, defined and utilized by
those who study and know this influence through astronomy and
astrology. Nu-nah what is that which produces the interior longings
to know? Is it not that there is something to know--something that
our common brains can not grasp and analyze? Do you not think that
silent, yet persistent, monitor which lies concealed somewhere
within our being is excited to action from some source other than
our outward selves, and that longing to go out must be accounted for
by a something without that calls and attracts us to it? May this
not be the stars that we see twinkling and motioning to us as we
gaze into the midnight heavens?"

He stopped, wondering what the effect of his words would be, when,
to his amazement, there appeared a more vivid consciousness in her
eyes and features than he had ever seen since her return to physical
health and, taking new hope from this manifestation, he continued,
"Do you love the social world longer? Is there not that longing,
too, within your bosom for something more real, more ennobling than
the pastimes of worldly pleasures?"

At the mention of the worldly things, the light from her eyes died
out and was gone. Rathunor said no more but silently thanked God
that he had for those few moments assisted the soul of Nu-nah to
vibrate, too; and had set in motion the vitalizing currents to the
spiritual portion of the brain and earnestly prayed that this might
be the beginning of many opportunities that were to follow.

Realizing that only he could arouse the dormant organs of her
spiritual brain, he became more anxious than ever to have her
constantly in his company. He again pressed his suit and the day for
the wedding-nuptials was to be at once submitted to the Astrologer.

Rathunor again sought the Astrologer Priest for advice. He wished to
know when the stars would point most favorably toward such a
momentous event. This, the Astrologer was not long in finding out
and soon conveyed the news to Rathunor that at an early date such
might be consummated. As the Prince arose to go the Priest took his
hand and said, "My child, in taking the Princess Nu-nah as your
wife, you obey the holy intuitions of the soul and not only will you
be united in soul but in body and mind. I wish you the eternal
bliss that attends all who are truly mated. Farewell, my child; my
blessings go with you."

Rathunor was too much absorbed in other things to understand the
mysterious words of the Priest, but notwithstanding this the seed
had been again sown that would sometime spring up unannounced and
unexpected.

The announcement of the wedding was soon made and invitations sent
out, far and near. Congratulations poured in from every source,
although some would have refused, had they been true to their own
sentiments, for the remarkable and unaccountable change which had
taken place during her terrible malady was too evident to be
altogether right and should be righted before the Prince should make
the Princess his wife.

Rathunor was satisfied, never forgetting the Hierophant's sacred
words, and none other need be consulted. In their silent hearts they
wished the wedding might be private and the holy ceremony of the
Temple be performed by the High Priest. This, of course, could not
be owing to the station and position they occupied in life, for the
lives of a Princess and Prince are not wholly their own, so to the
public they must bow and pay obeisance.

Preparations for the wedding commenced at once, for it was to be a
grand affair. Nothing was to be spared that would add beauty and
grandeur to the occasion. Extravagant expenditures were indulged in,
until money seemed at a loss to supply more. The trousseau was
exquisitely magnificent and, on the wedding night, the beaming
radiance of the countenance of the Princess was neither dimmed by
the rich silks, nor the rare, priceless laces and lovely jewels that
glittered and sparkled with the living spark of life within them,
that adorned her form.

Never a bride so fair; never a couple so happy. It was that quiet,
subtle happiness, which permeates the very atmosphere about them and
leaves its traces in every susceptible heart that breathes it.



CHAPTER XI.

THE RETIREMENT.


After the wedding the Prince and Princess were, from necessity,
drawn within the whirl of social pleasures with attentions in the
way of entertainments, court suppers, balls, drawing-room
receptions, etc. The interior longings were compelled to creep into
the background until the external was gratified to exhaustion. The
Princess' seriousness departed for a time and they were very happy
in the round of pleasures that were planned for them. But as time
sped on they began to grow weary of the show, pomp and shallowness
of external life. The seeds that had been sown in Rathunor's heart
and brain, and that which he had aroused in Nu-nah's slumbering,
spiritual organs of her brain, had taken root and now began to
spring forth into activity, first as weariness of the superficial
pleasures of society, then a desire to gradually withdraw from this
life into a more quiet and secluded one, where they might listen to
the inner voices and gain pleasure, as well as knowledge, from this
source.

The Prince anxiously awaited another opportunity for speaking to
Princess Nu-nah on spiritual subjects. The Hierophant had given him
to understand that at no distant day Nu-nah would become interested
in spiritual things and be his teacher. He had not been made aware
of the transfer--that was to be revealed to him by Nu-nah herself.
He had begun to wonder how and where Nu-nah's spiritual awakening
would take place when an opportunity presented itself in a most
unexpected manner.

One lovely evening they were taking a stroll about the grounds of
their castle, when the full Moon arose in a flood of light, it rose
higher, fuller, until the whole world seemed bathed in her magical
beauty and in order to longer enjoy her light and magnetic influence
the Prince suggested a longer walk. Unconsciously they chose the
path that led them towards the Temple, which was only a short
distance from their home. As they neared the Temple distant strains
of music attracted their attention. They listened, and it seemed to
speak in the plaintive tones of a hungering soul; they hastened
their steps until they had quite reached the private grounds of the
Temple of Isis, Nu-nah was in advance of Rathunor, being
irresistibly drawn by some invisible power, when she suddenly
stopped and clasping his arm, as within a vice, cried out, "My
Rathunor, do you hear that music; what is it? I have heard it
before, but where, O, where? How came I to know the chants and music
of the Temple Service?"

They were held spell-bound to the spot, when the Prince was warned,
by the trembling and the gradual loosening of Nu-nah's hand upon his
arm, to quit the spot at once. The Prince placed his arm about her
waist to support her as he urged their return home, but she stood
immovable apparently chained by the magical power of some invisible
force.

Stronger grew the mystical power of the spell until the Princess
seemed compelled to rush madly on and into the Temple, if the
Prince had not held her back in a firm grasp, and at the same time
trying to attract her attention by his words. "Come, my darling, let
us retrace our steps and as we walk I will tell you all I know about
what you have heard."

"O, my Rathunor, speak to me quickly before I have time to forget. I
can not remember this long, yet it as a recurrence of a vivid dream.
Tell me while I am awake, where I have been. I saw, and felt, and
know I was there--there in the Sacred Sanctuary of that Temple. O,
that I might go again and remain there forever to listen to that
enchanting music and the solemn heavenly voices of that choir."

A quiver ran through her whole frame and with a mournful cry she
fell fainting in the arms of Rathunor. Here his innate born courage
and bravery sustained him, and instantly there flashed into his mind
the words he had once heard the High Priest use while passing his
hands over an insensible form. So, gently laying her inanimate body
upon the grass, he repeated in slow, but firm and commanding tones
these words:

"Return, O soul, to thy physical body. Return, I command thee, and
reanimate this lifeless tenement of your soul. Come, come, I command
thee, come."

Scarcely had the last words been uttered when a movement of the
hands and limbs announced to Rathunor the return of life. She was
soon able to rise and, being supported by the Prince, they slowly
wended their way back to the castle. She walked as in a dream, but
as her step was stately and firm, the Prince did not become alarmed
until he had her safe in her room, when the extent of the occurrence
dawned upon him and then he hurriedly called her maid and sent at
once to dispatch a servant for their physician. Nu-nah had become
quite herself before the Doctor came and after he had administered a
little palliative, withdrew saying, "The Princess will soon be well.
It was only the result of fatigue induced by the constant excitement
of social pleasures."

The Prince was silent and, seeing the Princess was so comfortable,
he retired to his own apartments with strict injunctions, he should
be notified at once if any symptoms of the prostration should
appear. When once within his private chamber he threw himself down
in a chair and fell into a profound study. Over and over he
reviewed the incidents of the evening. "What was there in that music
that so enchanted Nu-nah? What did she see and hear that revived a
faint memory of something in the past? What magical force was it
that drew her so irresistibly toward the Temple? What produced that
quiver which preceded her falling insensible into his arms?"

He was half inclined to blame the Priests for it all, for he knew
something of the power of magic and its psychologic effect. The more
he reasoned the farther he wandered from a solution. Now he mused,
"If that had been the beautiful Vestal, Sarthia, I could understand
why she would be so powerfully attracted to the Temple, but Nu-nah,
who had never entered the Holy Sanctuary except for those sacred
Rites that are administered to all who are supposed to be bordering
on the land of the spiritual world; only those two nights, to his
knowledge, had she ever been in the Sacred Sanctuary; there was
something in those ceremonies that he had not as yet understood;
there must have been some mystical, magical power employed to
restore the frail, feeble, unconscious Nu-nah to life and health
and, to him."

He thought and reasoned until his brain was on fire, and still no
solution of the mystery was presented to his understanding.

"Well," he at last exclaimed, so loud that he startled himself, "I
will have to accept it as a mystery and patiently wait time's own
pleasure for the explanation."

He began to prepare for retiring, but he could not calm himself--a
restlessness took possession of him that he could not quell; he
walked the floor, tried to read, and resorted to many ways to
restore his tranquillity, but all in vain.

"I must see my Nu-nah once more before I can sleep," and, hurriedly
readjusting the clothing he had removed, he repaired to the
Princess' private room. A gentle knock brought the attendant to the
door.

"Is the Princess quiet and sleeping," he inquired in a whisper.

"No," answered the servant. "She is awake and feeling well, and just
now remarked, that if she thought you were not sleeping she would
have you called for she had something she wished to tell you."

His presence was at once made known to the Princess, and, with a
low cry of delight, she called him to her side. A signal sent the
attendant from the room, when the Princess began, "My Rathunor, my
beloved husband, I am so glad you came. I have something to tell you
that I might forget before morning. To-night, when we came within
the sound of the music in the Temple, I felt as if I left my body
and you, and by some unknown power was drawn into the Sacred
Sanctuary. I saw the High Priest, the lovely Mother Priestess, the
Vestals, the choir and musicians, all earnestly engaged in some holy
ceremony. The music, the heavenly spiritual influence of the
atmosphere, the exquisite fragrance of incense and perfumes, with
the purity reflected by the Vestal attendants, so enraptured and
enthralled me that the thought that I would ever have to leave its
sacred boundaries caused me to lose consciousness and, when I awoke,
you were bending over me."

Seeing a strange look in Rathunor's eyes and interpreting it to mean
jealousy, she continued, "but that was not all, my Rathunor; you
were there, too, for awhile. I tried to keep you, but could
not--something drew you away from _me_ and I, for an instant,
suffered the same pangs that are torturing your heart now. I thought
you would rather go than stay, and a feeling of jealousy entered my
heart, but the strange fascination of the place was more to me at
that instant than you, my Rathunor, so I longed to stay but could
not. I have been trying to think what it all means. You must help me
for already I feel the memory of the event passing away."

She ceased speaking, and in a few moments was fast asleep. The
Prince kissed the hand he held, then gently laid it by her side and
quietly left the room fully conscious that the mystery had been
partially revealed, and that now the Princess would sleep for the
rest of the night. After returning to his rooms he again flung
himself into an easy chair determined to seriously think and arrive,
that night, at some immediate steps to take his Nu-nah from the
excitement she had been subjected to for so long, so that a
recurrence of the sad event might not be repeated. Before another
Sun arose the Prince had decided upon his future course. "I will
take Nu-nah away, ostensibly on a long tour of the country for
pleasure. Aye, for pleasure, but not the kind we have submitted to
since our marriage."

The next morning, as soon as the Princess could see him, he
requested her presence at once. He met her at the door and with a
loving inquiry as to her health, led her to an easy chair beside the
open window where the rays of the morning Sun could fall upon her as
they penetrated the delicate lace which hung at the window. Drawing
a chair to her side he began to unfold his plans, at the same time
watching every motion and expression of the face to see what effect
they would have upon her. She did not betray her thoughts until he
said his object was not so much for travel as to retire to some
quiet, pleasant nook, where they could be excluded from the world,
and those they knew, for awhile, and instead of spending their time
in the superficial pleasures of the world they could enjoy each
other's society and learn something about the invisible mysteries
that surrounded them.

When the motives of his plans were mentioned a perceptible change
flashed across her countenance and a light appeared in her eyes that
he had not seen for some time and, by the time he had finished, her
whole face was beaming with an inward delight, that urged the Prince
to further reveal the plans that he had laid during his midnight
reasonings. The Princess raised not a single exception to his
schemes but, on the contrary, entered into them with a zest that
surprised even the Prince.

"O, to be alone, Rathunor, where we could think and study that which
we choose has been the longing of my very soul these many weeks; can
not we go at once, to-day if possible." She felt she could not wait
the necessary time for the preparations to be made.

There was a duty toward their friends that must be fulfilled. The
devoted attentions that had been showered upon them for so long must
not be ignored. So, it was decided to give a farewell reception,
before taking their departure for an indefinite stay in strange
lands.

Accordingly invitations were issued to a grand state occasion, when
the Prince and Princess would bid their friends and associates
Farewell. Ah! farewell. Little did those who were of that brilliant
assembly dream, as they clasped the hands of the Princess and Prince
in cordial and sincere good-by, that it was indeed a Farewell to
all. Neither did they conceive for a moment what those Farewells
meant to the Princess and Prince. It was hard for them to conceal
their happiness as every minute of time brought their departure
nearer, and what their guests took for the happiness of their
presence, was really induced by the thoughts of the future.

They were soon off and we can only follow them in thought for a
time. Let those thoughts be kind, for, knowing thoughts are potent,
send them out lovingly toward the awakening mind of Princess Nu-nah.



CHAPTER XII.

THE RETURN TO A NEW LIFE.


Several years have elapsed since we bade our Prince and Princess
farewell. Only at long intervals had they communicated with their
friends. The outer world had almost forgotten them, but not so with
the Hierophant and the Priestess of the Temple. Daily, had their
prayers gone in behalf of their souls' welfare. Although not in
communication with them in body they were in spirit, and from this
source they knew all was well. The High Priest, in his astral
visits, could see the growing power of the soul over the
slowly-evolving brain of the Princess, and with the electric
soul-force, the great nourisher and renewer of life, though
unconscious to him, the rounding out was fast nearing completion of
the soul's mastery over the brain and body of Nu-nah.

They had settled in distant lands, near a little country village
that lay just at the foot of the mountains. It was made up of the
simple peasantry, where life was free from cant, suspicions,
criticism and morbid curiosity. Here they could live and follow the
bent of their minds, undisturbed and unobserved if they so wished.
They kept their identity unknown yet the villagers knew from the
Princess' delicate beauty of form and features she belonged to some
noble family and station in life, but her kind, thoughtful bearing
towards them won their love and esteem at once, and equally did they
esteem the Prince for he was ever lavish with his money and
attention to those who appealed to him for assistance. The mountains
soon became their favorite resort. Long walks were taken daily, and
rests made in the quiet nooks on the mountain side. One place
particularly, became a very dear retreat to them, for never did they
stop there but that some inspirations were born. It was here that
Nu-nah took her first lesson from Rathunor; it was in this sacred
spot that Rathunor gently but cautiously revealed to her the
Initiatory Rites of the Temple that had been performed over her
unconscious body. This excited an intense curiosity, if not deep
interest, in Nu-nah's mind. She began to question and think and, as
she thought, there came a vague, glimmering memory of the past, and
when Rathunor would inquire the cause of her almost unconscious
moods, she would raise her hand to silence his voice, and whisper,
"I am dreaming--O, something so grand, so solemn, so sacred haunts
my mind; just wait and it will all come by and by," then her dark
eyes seemed to grow larger and larger and to burn with a
concentrated fire.

The Prince's delight knew no bounds as these expressions led him to
believe they sprang from deep desires and interests, so the time
seemed to shorten for the day to come when their whole time and
attention would be turned to the study of Nature's mysteries and the
secrets of life be revealed to them, thus satisfying that inward
longing for the realities of life. Also, he knew, the new love that
had been born in Nu-nah's heart for him was more than that love that
the external only can know. Its depths he could not fathom nor its
source pursue, so he was content to wait that promised time,
predicted by the Astrologer, that Nu-nah would lead, guide and teach
him these spiritual truths and reveal to his already awakening soul
the laws of the spirit.

Now, a new joy was revealed to the Prince when the Princess made him
aware that a new soul had been entrusted to their tender care and
keeping. The thoughts of maternity filled her heart with bliss.
Blessed privilege, to bring to this plane of existence a soul
awaiting incarnation in human form, to live, grow and experience on
this planet the last grand objective existence that the soul can
know. What care, what pleasure would she take in training that
little soul to know its God and the mysteries of life and in
maturity stand forth to teach mankind Wisdom and Truth.

The pleasure in preparing for its advent made days pass as minutes.
Time, borne on the wings of love, passed quickly. Her soul had
gained that control over the mind that it was full with pure, holy
and spiritual thoughts. Her mind could not get beyond her husband
and the young soul that had been transmitted to her keeping. The
divine joy of love was singing in her soul. Rathunor left her alone
in her happiness, knowing that in her condition any great effort on
his part to draw her mind--thoughts into new channels might lead to
dire results.

At last the Natalday arrived. The magnetic, as well as the physical,
period of gestation being completed, to them a son was born. Never
was there a human soul greeted with greater love and welcome than
this one. Not only was it the offspring of the physical union, but
that of the souls. Welcome, thrice welcome, to the children born of
such love. The physical condition of the Princess was very critical
for several days. The Prince's grief and anxiety was almost
unbearable; neither sleep nor food took a moment of his time during
her severe illness, and often did he think that again Nu-nah's soul
would take its flight and wend its way to the realms above.

The eighth day after confinement was one of stupor and
unconsciousness. Not a moment passed unheeded. It was near midnight
when, the attendants having retired for a short rest, and Rathunor
sat alone by her bedside, her eyes suddenly opened and bent their
gaze upon him. Beautiful, calm, divine Nu-nah, her wonderful eyes
shone with a surprising brilliancy and they were so riveted upon him
that he dare not move, much less speak. The minutes that intervened
between her waking and speaking seemed as an eternity to Rathunor.

"My darling husband, are you beside me--are you where I can speak to
you, and are we alone?"

Only by a gentle pressure of the hand could he respond, and, gently
laying his right hand upon her brow, he assured her by this act of
his presence. She began speaking--her voice was low, yet clear and
distinct, "My Rathunor, my true-soul companion, I have returned with
the knowledge I now impart to you. While you so patiently and
tenderly watched beside my frail and almost lifeless body, my soul
was away gaining knowledge and experience in the soul-world. There I
learned who I am and my relation to you. Do you know, O my Rathunor,
that our souls sustain that divine relation to each other that makes
us immortal, because of being complete? The whole, the two rays of
the Divine Ego, are joined and blended as one in our union. Can you
hear me further?"

The agitation of his grief began to assuage and he could now listen
calmly and without emotion to her words.

"Yes, go on. What you have already said has been indelibly burned
upon my mind and soul. Let me hear all you have to impart."

"Know you that this body was Nu-nah's and this soul that of
Sarthia's?"

It was here that only by a mighty effort of his will was he able to
keep in abeyance the emotions of his heart, but the superior and
God-like power of an invisible Presence sustained him. The Princess
took no heed of his silence and continued her revelations.

"Do you know that on the night of the full Moon, the solemn and
sacred Rites performed over the unconscious bodies of Sarthia and
Nu-nah in the Sacred Sanctuary of the Temple of Isis, our souls were
transferred by the magical power of the High Priest and the
invisible assistants? Nu-nah's soul was polarized in Sarthia's
physical temple and that of Sarthia's in this of mine. Both were
prostrated, even to dissolution by the malefic influence of
planetary arcs, and this method was resorted to, that both our
lives might be spared to round out our necessary physical existence
while yet in these bodies, and also for your sake was this
undertaken by our Holy Father that you might have that love which
you so much craved and the longings of your soul might be satisfied
with the knowledge it thirsted for. This will explain to you the
great change observed at times in your Nu-nah, and the unnatural,
dreamy moods that possessed me sometimes. The brain was slow to
respond to the wonderfully developed soul of Sarthia and it was at
those times that the soul gained the supremacy, that the greatest
change would manifest. You now have the true devoted love of your
soul companion and the lovely form of Nu-nah for your wife. My
Rathunor, are you satisfied? If a pang of disappointment cross your
heart, our darling child here may blot that out as he grows and
learns our mystic lore and become also a soul companion of his
fathers in climbing the ladder to higher wisdom and spheres than
ours."

The Prince could not speak. He sank on his knees beside the bed and
buried his face in her bosom. Here silence was more profound and
spoke deeper wisdom and contentment than ever words could do; how
long he remained in this humble attitude and poured forth his
gratefulness in prayer he knew not; but when he arose the Princess
was sleeping quietly, the breathing, though feeble, was deeper and
more even. He gently crossed her hands upon her bosom, adjusted the
clothing carefully and left her side, full of a new hope he had had
for many days. Life again appeared in all its glory, not a shadow
appeared upon its horizon; weariness and anxiety forsook him and he
went about as if walking on air, but not a word escaped his
lips--nor an act betrayed his new-born joy.

When the nurses returned they at once remarked the change in the
Princess. They, too, became hopeful and assured the husband that his
wife would soon be well. The Princess recovered rapidly, and it was
not long before her gentle presence and noble influence shed its
effulgence in the home as she moved about it.

As soon as Rathunor could spare the time from Nu-nah's side he sent
the Natal hour of his first-born to the Astrologer Priest. Anxiously
did he await the reading of the stars and what they indicated for
his child. The calculations were made, the judgment submitted in
writing, but "Shall I transmit them to the Prince and Princess, can
they yet receive and philosophically accept the revelations therein
made?"

He left the study-room and repaired to the apartments of the High
Priest to seek advice and instructions. Then, by the exercise of his
potent will, he made the necessary observations to see if it were
wise to convey the knowledge of the predictions to his children,
Nu-nah and Rathunor.

"Not yet will we send the reading. Our Nu-nah has not sufficiently
recovered to bear any unpleasant news."

Rathunor became impatient and thought, at times, he would write
again--the letter must have been lost--but something withheld him.
At last strange forebodings haunted him. He knew too well the
promptness of the Astrologer Priest; there must be something that
could not be revealed to Nu-nah. He thought he was strong enough to
bear resignedly all that might come, but when it did come all his
forebodings had not prepared him to receive it. It was only a
letter--no calculations--no reading, as indicated by the stars, was
in it. The letter had been dictated by the Priest and transcribed by
the scribe Hermo, and read thus:

"Our darling children, Rathunor and Nu-nah, bear bravely the news I
now impart to you. Your first born, the offspring of true
inspiration and soul-love, can not remain with you long in the
physical form. The stars deny a prolonged life, and my interior
knowledge of the planetary influence, also tells me his life upon
our Earth's plane will be of short duration. His already matured
soul does not need much of Earth's experience to round out its
objective existence, before entering the true life in the spiritual
realm; there it will remain, my dear children, ever beckoning you
on, and contributing to you that energy that will ever spur you to
greater effort to realize while yet in the physical form Immortal
Life. Tend it carefully, but when the Great Powers that Be summon
its soul to go, do not try to hold it here, but add the strength of
your united prayers to its flight and bid it depart to its home in
the spiritual realms above. God bless and give you the strength, my
children, is the prayer of your devoted Father. Amen! Amen!"

The strength of spiritual force that seemed to accompany the letter
and his loving advice imparted courage to their hearts, and instead
of giving way to grief, began to philosophically reason and console
themselves that God's ways were wiser than man's.

Not many months did their lovely spiritual child remain with them
until its soul took its flight to realms beyond, where truly it
became as a beacon-light to the souls of its parents. Its departure
left the Prince and Princess sad and lonely for a time and their
struggle to reconciliation was great--but this was of the heart and
not of the soul. Time healed the external wound and the interior
vacancy was filled by study, investigation and the development to
external consciousness of the knowledge within.

Again, they became restless and plans were laid to leave their
happy home near the mountains, and the devoted friends they had made
among the villagers who were sorry to part with them and, as memento
to their honest, noble friendship, they distributed their household
and personal effects among them. They revealed to no one where they
were going. They disappeared as mysteriously as they came, but
where? Only one place on Earth could tempt them to leave that sacred
home, where such extreme joy and sorrow were known, and that was the
former home of the soul of Nu-nah, The Temple of Isis. Nu-nah was to
enter as an aspirant to a Priestess, and Rathunor as a Priest King.

The Return to a New Life, was hailed with joyful welcomes from all
of the Attendants of the Temple. Rathunor and Nu-nah soon passed
the ceremonial Rites of the Temple and none were more faithful in
their efforts and studies than these new-born children--the especial
care of the High Priest and the Priestess.

We leave them here, wishing them the progress, the happiness and
that Divine Peace and Understanding that comes to all Perfected
Souls. God be with them.



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