Rite of the Green Goddess

Principal Characters


The Lover

A Pianist

A Dozen Children

The Green Goddess

The Universal Peacock


Absinthe is prepared or procured.  The usual temple openings are performed by the Lover and a first glass of Absinthe is imbibed in private.  A second glass is poured and imbibed during the Invocation.

Invocation of the Lover

Keep always this dim corner for me, that I may sit while the Green Hour glides, a proud pavine of Time. For I am no longer in the city accursed, where Time is horsed on the white gelding Death, his spurs rusted with blood.

Here, too are marble basins hollowed—and hallowed!—by the drippings of the water which creates by baptism the new spirit of absinthe.

I am only sipping the second glass of that "fascinating, but subtle poison, whose ravages eat men's heart and brain" that I have ever tasted in my life.

But I can taste souls without the aid of absinthe; and besides, this is magic of absinthe! The spirit of the house has entered into it; it is an elixir, the masterpiece of an old alchemist, no common wine.

And so, as I talk with the patron concerning the vanity of things, I perceive the secret of the heart of God himself; this, that everything, even the vilest thing, is so unutterably lovely that it is worthy of the devotion of a God for all eternity.

The barrier between divine and human things is frail but inviolable; the artist and the bourgeois are only divided by a point of view—"A hair divided the false and true."

I am watching the opalescence of my absinthe, and it leads me to ponder upon a certain very curious mystery, persistent in legend. We may call it the mystery of the rainbow.



Aphrodite enters, dressed in all the colors of the Rainbow.

Aphrodite: I rain down upon you with the many kisses of the stars; I bring you into the Veil of Qesheth. It was Isis that bid me leave to do this.

Lover: The rainbow assuredly is sign of Initiation. I have been purified by water, and am now ready for the revelation of Wine. Would it be that God never again destroys the world, but ultimately seals its perfection in a baptism of fire.

Aphrodite: Thou art the Lover; one who has attained the middle grade of Initiation. I hail thee by thy title: Hodos Camelioniis; for ye are in fact opalescent, as the middle stage in the Alchemical operation when the liquor becomes transparent. And ye travel the Path of Chameleon.

The Universal Peacock enters and does a royal dance; the music played by the pianist is dignified and regal.

Universal Peacock: Would it were possible to assemble in this place the cohorts of quotation; for indeed they are beautiful with banners, flashing their myriad rays from cothurn and habergeon, gay and gallant in the light of that Sun which knows no fall from the Zenith of high noon!

The Green Goddess enters and hands out banners to all who are present.

Green Goddess: Weave for my fancy a gala dress of stuff as many-colored as the mind of Aphrodite.

Oh Beauty! Long did I love thee, long did I pursue thee, thee elusive, thee intangible! And lo! thou enfoldest me by night and day in the arms of gracious, of luxurious, of shimmering silence.

The Green Goddess distributes Absinthe to all present. Each waits for the toast to be given by the Green Goddess:

Green Goddess Toast: The surplus of Will must find issue in the elevation of the individual towards the Godhead; and the method of such elevation is by religion, love, and art. These three things are indissolubly bound up with wine, for they are species of intoxication.

Upon imbibition the entire lodge begins a whirring of howls. The Lover yelps above the din:

Lover: Ah! Green Goddess! What is the fascination that makes you so adorable and so terrible?

The Green Goddess raises her arms and all fall to Silence.

Green Goddess: Let then the pilgrim enter reverently the shrine, and drink his absinthe as a stirrup-cup; for in the right conception of this life as an ordeal of chivalry lies the foundation of every perfection of philosophy.

"Whatsoever ye do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God!" applies with singular force to the absintheur. So may he or she come victorious from the battle of life to be received with tender kisses by some green-robed archangel, and crowned with mystic vervain in the Emerald Gateway of the Golden City of God.

There is beauty in every incident of life; the true and the false, the wise and the foolish, are all one in the eye that beholds all without passion or prejudice: and the secret appears to lie not in the retirement from the world, but in keeping a part of oneself Vestal, sacred, intact, aloof from that self which makes contact with the external universe. In other words, in a separation of that which is and perceives from that which acts and suffers. And as a rule, it is a birthright; it may perhaps be attained but most assuredly, it can never be bought.

A party of a dozen merry boys and girls enter the hall. The pianist begins to play a dance, and in a moment the whole lodge is caught up in the music of harmonious motion.