Sophia held the highest seat. She was high priestess to Isis. Throughout the entire ceremony Isis would remain transfixed and silently nodding approval or making other gestures suitable of her position. Sophia would essentially conduct all the ceremony. She would speak for Isis, and occasionally would seek a sign from Isis. She aimed to impress to the off-worlders that this ceremony was very sacred.
As tribute to her, each planet under her dominion would be required to sacrifice virgin young men, every month, or at any other time that Isis would see fit. She seemed to have a remarkable affinity for demanding sacrifices from the worlds under her dominion. Each planet would come up with it's own sales pitch to get young men to strive to be selected to spend an evening in the Pleasure Dome with the Venetian's playing affectionate hostesses. The beauty of the Venetian was legendary throughout the empire. Isis would always ensure that a hardy male who was in the midst of his pleasure would advertise the ecstasy for the cameras.
She had males of all the planets scrambling for the privilege to experience the legendary Pleasure Dome of Xanadu where men drank the immortal nectar of the goddesses, ambrosia. Non-lethal derivatives of ambrosia was sold throughout the empire. It's effects as an aphrodisiac were legendary. Men on other planets would offer millions of credits for a night at the Pleasure Dome. Entrance to the Pleasure Dome was strictly limited to the citizens of Artemis. The Initiates, as they were called, were the sacrifice, yet it was most effective if they participated with passionate interest. As such, the Initiates were initiated as citizens of Artemis. A great ceremony would be performed. The Initiates would be elevated in prominence. Sophia would explain how they were all hand picked by her staff because of their desirable genetic qualities. She would go on to explain how that Isis only selected the cream of the crop to be permitted to live with and procreate with her people. All the men would be asked to pay homage to Isis. They would swear an oath of allegiance to her as empress and goddess, and would most willingly lay their lives down for her.
Other rituals would be performed. Sophia called them "cleansing rituals". Isis was somewhat deceptive about what was in store for the men, yet she did promise everything that she delivered. It just was not made clear that for the rest of your life usually meant only a couple of hours. She could maintain the immortality of her species as long as perpetuation was maintained. She had plenty of willing victims. Her interest was mainly in genetic advancement of her species.
For centuries, the Venetians had successfully genetically controlled their own evolution. If another species had a desirable naturally occurring trait, the Amazons would analyze the genetics involved and attempt to crossbreed that trait into their own. Criminals could be subject to DNA reprogramming as the Amazon scientists would use their body as a living laboratory as samples were introduced to the subject. The antibodies developed would be extracted, experimented with, and the like. The experimentation was not random nor unplanned. Usually the experiments were always successful. Isis would call these laboratory complexes her genetic greenhouses. She took the loss of life of her subjects quite seriously. She had an image to maintain as the goddess of her subjects.
Isis would keep Jim at her side for the earlier part of the ceremony and then dismiss him to fetch the Pegasus. He would be instructed to arrive immediately after the conclusion of the Initiation rites. The Great Hall before the throne of Isis filled with a heavy mist laced with ambrosia. The court musicians introduced the mist with an orchestral sound of mystical enchantment.
The eighty-four men had each received a VIP treatment that had beaten their wildest expectations. Even as soon as the spaceport, they had been tantalized and teased by these flirtatious Amazons. From the start in the limousine, the hostess in the back seat with them had found a handle on their manhood. Desiring more, the response would only be: "Not until you have been initiated as a citizen of Artemis may you touch an Amazon and live." The hostess would then beg to be remembered at that time, in which case she would be happy to play hostess again in the Pleasure Dome. Customarily, the male "Initiate" candidate would fall in love with the hostess that first greeted him. She would be his guide and was his primary mate. This same hostess would be the one to accompany the Initiate at his side during the ceremony.
More often than not, the Initiate was already overwhelmed with the ever-present scent of ambrosia in the air. Above the mist would be the golden interior of the Great Hall and the starry imaged ceiling glistening from the ever-present light from the orb signifying Artemis. The initiates were ushered to their places. The music changed from enchantment to a tone of powerful resonance. The mists cleared around the throne as Isis rose to welcome the Initiates.
"Welcome to Xanadu where you will drink the milk of paradise."
With that Sophia rose to proclaim, "Welcome to Xanadu, brothers!" Sophia then continued: "Now listen to the words of the Queen of the Amazons, Empress of the Universe, our beloved Isis.
She is of the long line of the queens of Artemis and she is the purest of all the Amazons. At her altars we offer these youths for sacrifice."
"If you need anything, once a month, when our moon is full, we assemble here in the Great Hall, and adore and pay homage to Isis. We are assembled here today to welcome you into our assembly as you become one with us. From this time on, once you have been accepted as a citizen of Artemis, we shall show you our deepest secrets. You shall be our lovers and you shall give us children. We shall free you from slavery and you shall enter the Pleasure Dome naked, where you shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in praise to Isis, as she has bestowed upon you these privileges. We shall teach you ecstasy of the spirit, and you shall feel the ultimate joy in this universe. The law of Isis demands you to love all that ask while in the Pleasure Dome. We have purified the lot of you by carefully reviewing your genetic background."
"Be thankful to Isis, you fortunate men. We shall teach you the true meaning of your role in life. Before we demand this sacrifice to Isis, the Empress of all living, and before she pours her love out towards you, each of you must willingly accept your role in this great sacrifice. If any of you desires not to become a citizen of Xanadu and enter the Pleasure Dome, you may speak so now. We shall return you to your home planet and you may seek your fortune from whence you came."
Sophia scanned all the men. They all seemed eager with great expectations. Not one volunteered to leave.
"Hear the words of the Star Goddess. She in the dust of whose feet we are gathered. Her power pervades the known universe. All must pay homage to her."
"She is the culmination of the beauty of this green planet, and the whitest beauty among the stars. Her knowledge delves the mysteries of the universe and she is the desire of the hearts of all men."
"She commands us all, and for her we must give all our love. Let thine innermost self be enfolded in the rapture of her beauty, as your blood and hers merge to bring us immortality. Let the worship of her be within your hearts as you rejoice. All acts of love and pleasure with our race are sacred rituals. When in the Pleasure Dome, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you."
"You Initiates seek our mysteries. Be not afraid of your yearnings and be aware of your own unworthiness to receive the pleasure that you are about to be permitted."
Sophia motioned toward the hostesses to prepare the Initiates for purification. Each initiate was disrobed by the hostess and then collared, leashed and directed on all fours. When gestured to by the hostess, he then would be permitted to crawl up the steps to kiss the foot of Isis. The hostess would always keep a tight hold on the Initiate during this time. Jim began to get a little irritable.
Isis intercepted him by directing him to stand and come and embrace her. Isis disrobed in full view of all. She directed his hands to touch her as she pulled him closer to her.
Sophia continued to speak: "Behold the Kiss of Life. The union of Isis with her love will ensure our prosperity for all time. The union of Isis with he who loves her is the greatest of all Magick and together they are invincible. Come to me my love and do thy will. You are born worthy of her love. You walk by her side as her equal. You never leave her side because of love. You are her anointed one. You may rise to bless her and be blessed. You are he who shows no fear, and yet you are to be feared. You, who lead the spiral dance of ecstasy. You are the chosen one whose dominion is great indeed. You whose sap drives spring budding from her. You dance by her will. You reside in her, and she in you. For your children will give us the grain and lead us to live in prosperity. Bring us your pleasure and share our joy."
Isis exercised her overwhelming will on Jim. He obediently embraced and kissed her and allowed her to tap his energy. She levitated them both in a spiral fashion in full view of all in the Great Hall. Additional special effects throughout the Great Hall went into effect for all to perceive and enjoy. Drink and food was offered to all of the guests in the Hall.
As she took her lips away from Jim she brought them both back to the throne. She then motioned him away to fetch the Pegasus. Sophia kept silent while the musicians enhanced the effect of the spectacle.
As the duo descended back to the throne, Sophia continued on with the ceremony: "It is the will of the great Isis to celebrate her love tonight in the stars. For Isis is not just the Queen of the Amazons, nor is she just the Queen of Artemis, but she is Queen of the Universe. In Pegasus she commands the way between the stars. She will conceive while she traverses the stars with her love. Give gratitude to the cosmos, you swirling masses of dancers. The atoms dance. The people dance. Endless possibilities of dance and Isis shall effortlessly dance though the stars."
Sophia then motioned for the eighty-four guests to pay homage to Isis by crawling up the stairs of the throne. The hostesses kept them queued in an orderly fashion. The rest of the audience ate, drank and enjoyed side festivities. When all had their turn, the Great Hall darkened, and a hush fell in the Hall as the final rite would be celebrated.
The Initiates were to be blessed as Isis would bless the life within each man. Isis would speak this spell herself. She meant to draw the attention of her fellow Amazons that the lives of each of these men would be forfeited for the greater life brought about by the death of these men.
Blessed be your breath as you breathe in power with each breath.
Blessed be the fire inside you that it remains un-extinguished and supple.
May your passions burn truly and freely and strong.
Blessed be the waters of your life and your blood be strong.
May the water flow from your loin and be fertile.
Blessed be your life giving waters.
Blessed be the earth of your body.
May your muscles be strong and fearless.
May your heart beat with love, strength, ability, and courage.
May you be surrounded with warmth of the community.
May you love and be loved.
from a version of
A Wiccan Blessing for a Newborn
The throne became enveloped by the mists as her figure became obscured by the clouds.