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.
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.