The Divine Lady
An allegory for the Few of the earthly reward of Virtue
Guest article by Erika Hahn
Introduction by Occult Mysteries
As we discuss in our articles on the Mystery Language and Symbolism (see sidebar), there is no ancient myth, fable, or folk-tale which does not contain some historical fact, moral principle or occult truth concealed under the cloak of allegory and symbolism. This is true of the following moving and unusual story Erika Hahn has written for us.
Though infused with Greek mythology The Divine Lady is an allegorical tale that does not belong to any particular time or place. It is not a happy story and does not have a happy ending. Some readers may see it as an allegory of the tragic life of the Greek Neoplatonic philosopher Hypatia, who was cruelly murdered by a mob of fanatical Christians in 415 A.D., though the author tells us in her afterword that this was not her intention. Others may see parallels to the lives of many of the great poets such as Byron, Shelley and Keats, who were lauded at the beginning of their careers, only to be vilified later on. Byron and Shelley were both hounded out of England by the establishment of the time, egged on by the moral ambivalence of the fickle, hypocritical populace. John Keats died at the tender age of 25 from tuberculosis, utterly worn out by the venomous attacks of the critics who mercilessly lambasted his poems and traduced his character. Yet others may see parallels with H. P. Blavatsky, first hailed as a visionary teacher, only to be betrayed by those who had been loudest in their praises. Her later years were blighted by ill-health and dogged by scandal and calumny which continue to undermine her work and sully her good name to this very day.
This is the earthly reward of Virtue; the fate of every messenger whose mission it is to raise up the thoughts of mankind to a comprehension of Beauty, Virtue and Truth. Known or unknown, male or female, poet, musician, artist or teacher, each suffers in much the same way as the subject of Erika Hahn's story. Does this irk you? Then strive to do your bit, however little, to awaken your fellowmen and women to a higher reality and a better world and so lighten—to some extent—the heavy task of those who strive to bring Light into this world of shadows.
Regular readers will know that the author has written several other stories for us—a full list of which can be found at the bottom of the sidebar. In her afterword Erika Hahn takes a brief look at the life and times of the Greek Neoplatonic philosopher and mathematician, Hypatia.
NCE UPON A TIME in a land far, far away, or maybe near at hand, there lived a Divine Lady, fair and wondrous to behold. She was a being of such enchantment that all those who saw her were filled with astonishment. The radiance of her Soul shone forth with such a glorious light that it illuminated each feature of her face and form with the radiant purity within. She was young and fair, and in her heart, like some white virgin-scroll, dwelt modest innocence, and wherever she turned Delight was near, and all around her, irradiating the very air itself.
At the birth of the Divine Lady the Muses danced about her cradle and played the sweetest melodies upon their silvery harps, whilst Apollo himself fed her from a spoon of gold and Cupid stood by his side and fixed his rosy gaze upon the infant, slumbering in the glittering sunshine of a flower-garlanded bower. "Be mine the welcome task," declared the sun-god, "to watch and tend this jewel among mortals, though immortal in herself, born for hours of love and innocent joy and happiness."
It is told that Venus herself came down from Heaven and brought her the charm-conferring girdle that she wore. "Take this, my magic gift, my daughter," said the smiling goddess, "and all who see it shall adore thee." And with these words she bound it over the baby's sleeping limbs, where it shone like a sunbeam in a shady place, reflected in the infant's form and face.
Then came shyly forth the Fauns and Dryads from forest dell and sunlit glade to bless the newborn child. Close behind followed the blue-eyed train of Thetis from the seas, golden-sandaled, and rose-crowned together with the white-armed Naiads, with locks unbound and rustling in the gentle breeze. Fairies, humans call them in their dire ignorance, little knowing and caring less that these ancient ones once walked the smiling Earth, bestrode the skies and sported upon the seas and rivers, ere man appeared to despoil Nature's fair countenance with his tricksy turns and rapacious plunderings.
Joyous acclamations issued from the lips of that happy band as they thronged around the cradle, and silver-shafted Diana from the plains and leafy valleys where the streams resound right gladly brought her bright nymphs to join the celebrations—those beauty-breathing maidens—while sweet Euterpe played and Phoebus sang his melodies. Such harmonies had ne'er before been heard on darkling Earth, now brightened with the Songs of Heaven, engendering flower-encinctured Dreams, and glorious Visions, such as from high Olympus once descended upon the minds of olden and god-like Poets, inspired to disclose the thought divine, whose burning splendour glows still within their songs; all those were there—all those were there, beside the woodland cradle whereon, in soft repose, reclined this favoured babe, her thoughts soaring upward to the Heavenly Home from which she had descended.
Beside her stood the snowy-bosomed Graces, with arms enwreathed and smiled upon her sleep; while Fauns made a thousand gay grimaces and wild with mirthfulness were seen to leap about in exultation. Meanwhile the Infant on its cradle filled with violets, eglantine and roses slumbered as in some dream, full radiant and deep, and ever and anon, like sweet sunshine, a laugh lit up her face, which seemed indeed Divine.
Brightly-wingèd birds fluttered around the cradle, their lilting song floating in the air while humming honeybees flew busily about. Flowers and fruits were there in great abundance and apple trees, olive and myrtle were spread all over the grassy mounds which surrounded the happy throng come to bless and acclaim the Divine Lady. Nearby, a babbling stream danced gaily from rock to rock, playing with the fine jewels it found within its crystal bed, making delicious music as it journeyed on its way. It is said an atmosphere like perfume still surrounds the sacred spot where the heavenly maiden first drew breath. An ever-living ray of wondrous light dwells still there, and changes night into day for those who have the eyes to see and hearts to comprehend that holy mystery.
Thus passed the maiden's infancy amid happy scenes, companionship divine and sweet delight. Year rolled on year, and girlhood intervened; and the Woman stepped serene and bright forth to the world. There were no darksome dreams to blight the blissful visions that her youth beheld; and a Voice came down from Heaven, saying in a silvery voice: "Beloved, write the things that thou hast seen Above and known of old." Then proudly flashed her radiant eye, her beauteous bosom swelled, and right gladly did she obey the ordinance from the Land on high, as with slender fingers she touched her sounding lyre. Songs flew like sunbeams from her throbbing breast, while her looks gleamed with celestial fire. Lo! With what ecstasy her song inspires the hearts of old and young; how sweetly sound the swanlike harmonies that enhance the words and burning thoughts that all who stand within their spell are entranced with the magic of their beauty.
Her soul was like the temple of the Muses, filled with her ethereal, enchanting lore, with dazzling images, pure, as if distilled from morning sunshine! Her spirit mused on deeds and days of yore, and goodness and sweet gentleness threw their starry veil of brightness all around her, entering the minds of her rapt audience, who stood spellbound at her feet. Like liquid, golden ore did her eloquent discourse enchant the hearts of her listeners who ne'er before had heard such truths so simply and so beauteously espoused.
And to her soul was given fairy form, ethereal in lightness and swift grace; fawnlike were her azure eyes whose glances were as splendid as a rainbow in a storm! Like stars that glitter in between the clouds of the tempestuous skies; yea, even this could scarcely win more wonder and surprise than this fair Woman in a stormy world; such was her radiance that left no heart unmoved and no mind untouched.
The fairy-dreaming painter, whose brush drips splendour upon his virgin canvas, unveiled the glories of heaven under her magic spell. The ardent scholar, skilled in many an ancient tongue with reverent feet her wisdom sought, while the minstrels of the land strewed flowers at her feet and wept as she sang her sacred songs of Heaven and its mysteries, of Earth and its wonders.
Such songs they were! Songs of other times and lands that spoke of Chivalry and Honour, of virtuous Knights sallying forth to slay the wicked and the cruel, of virtuous maidens imprisoned in frowning forts, and armoured bands, and kings and empires, all departed now. Thus she sang till Glory came, and o'er her laurelled brow shed rays immortal. And the wondering throng who around her radiant form did gather, the Wise, the Virtuous, and the Great, all bowed before this priestess of Beauty, exclaiming loud praises, like wild echoes, ever asking her for more and more in their exaltation.
And love was in her hymns, undying love, spirit and heart-absorbing, passionate and wild, such as Immortals feel in realms above; such as on Earth, alas! but seldom smiled on mortal youth or maid. In dreams like this her lone hours she beguiled, but sorrow dwelt within her soul, and when her laugh, like the clear laughter of a child, was loudest and most silvery, even then a cloud came o'er her thoughts, and made her weep some pearly tears of restlessness.
For the world that had first hailed her with its welcome, its delight and praise, now frowned upon her. Like thunder burst its angry voice, and sadness and amaze consumed the Lady as the days, once bright with hope and joy, were darkened with grim forebodings and gathering gloom.
Much had that Divine Lady struggled during her ripening years with the cold world and its worldly cares. Often had her path been shadowed by tears when she began to realise the indifference to wisdom and beauty on the part of so many of her contemporaries. But alas, the world of men was ever thus, and the flowers of genius are oftimes choked with tares. But true Genius never falters when the world neglects it, but goes on, no matter what befalls so long there is yet a particle of will and strength left to the chosen Messenger of God. Like a King or Queen it wends onwards in its march, for in its hands it bears immortal lightnings, and it braves seas that oppose it or deserts that parch with intolerable heat.
The worst desert of all is the neglect from so-called friends and erstwhile admirers, whose only aim in life is to give such sustenance without effort, and who, at the least sign of trouble turn away lest they are called upon to do their part of sending forth the message in the name of the stricken Messenger. Such craven cowards invoke their own doom and are sent back to the beginning of the great Journey. Nevertheless, true Genius braves all and is victorious at the very moment when all around think that the battle is well and truly lost.
So it was with the Divine Lady. The world that first hailed her with its false welcome, delight and worthless praise, which in her innocence she had accepted humbly, yet joyfully, as being sincere and true, now frowned upon her, and the vulture grief now turned upon her with its merciless talons. For there was one on whom that Lady's smile of innocence had fallen, but, like a viper, he had struck with vengeful hate, so soon his unworthy desires were unmasked. His poison slew her innocence by slanderous insinuations, and now the graceful, glorious creature sits and weeps, while her sponsors from above stand helpless to prevent her torture and save her from the villain's deadly snare.
She who had sowed Beauty, Truth and Wisdom, now reaps blight and death. Alone and friendless she contemplates her outcast state, and sorrow steeps her spirit-lighted eyes in tears. And the world looks on with callous sneers, for the wretch boasted of his conquest and added libel to wreck her name and fame. And all believed his words, without the need of any proofs; for when Innocence on Earth has no defender, the evil win, and there is no redress, and the gods must wait, for it is beyond their power to intervene in such a case.
In three short months the Divine Lady died, after leaving her own land in unmerited shame. But the world of men was not done with her yet. Evil tales still circulated abroad, and the glass through which her fame is now beheld is a poisoned one, the mirror of scorn and hate and ignominy.
The bright stars of Heaven alone shine with the tender smile of pity above her final resting place. No fresh flowers adorn her earthly pillow, no bud blossoms in that solitary spot. All is bare and arid, tinged with funereal gloom, so like the dark and grief-stricken end of her short life. This was the fate reserved for one so innocent and fair. The wandering winds of night are all the music that is heard around her lonely grave; mournful, wailing music like the supplications of spirits bound for Hell. Alas! how little can such a horrid requiem avail the once bright heart that sleeps below! In later years, when truth had become known, many wept bitter tears who heard her tragic tale, while the slanderer's soul does gnash his teeth in Hell. Yet the mercy of the gods is great, and she is now free and has been led into her rightful residence where now she dwells with the great Lords and Angels who once stood by her cradle, bringing gifts that could not save her from foul calumny on Earth. For only Heaven is the Seat of Love and Justice, Virtue, Mercy and Wisdom, whilst the Earth supports and encourages their opposites; such is the Law the Divine Lady taught, though few know it and fewer still follow it.
F I N I S
NOTE: if you have enjoyed Erika Hahn's allegorical tale you may also like The broken Violin. This too contains a number of occult truths concealed under the cloak of allegory and symbolism, often in the daftest manner imaginable. We publish these stories to provide the serious student of occult science with the opportunity to put the keys of symbolism to practical use (see further reading list at the end of the sidebar).
Another daft story equally rich in concealed meanings is Meditation; or the Way of Escape. In our afterword to this most unusual tale, we use the keys of symbolism and allegory to extract the important occult truths and wisdom teachings the story contains. If you use our methods and follow our hints and tips in this and other articles, you will begin to uncover the hidden meaning in legends, myths and sacred and magical literature of all kinds.
Illustration: detail from the Adoration of the Magi, a tapestry designed by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris and Henry Dearle, around 1890.
Story and Afterword © Erika Hahn. Introduction © Copyright occult-mysteries.org. All worldwide rights reserved. Published 27 September 2020. Updated 12 June 2022.