January 23, 2015

Castle Yew Walk

"The Yew Walk is a line of 120 yew trees which bend over, forming an arch.  It is thought to be over 600 years old, being part of the Old Abbey grounds.  It forms three sides of a rectangle.  The corners were cut out by H. Robertson, to allow a vista to the east and the south.  The largest tree is at the N. West end by the arcaded wall, measure 41 feet high; in width 12 feet and 9 inches.  The branches of different trees join together."  

Written by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson in the booklet "Clonegal Castle".

(photo copyright J.D. Mabbott)

January 19, 2015

Sun and New Moon in Aquarius

Happy Sun and New Moon in Aquarius!  The above Shrine of Aquarius is located in the Temple Sanctuary of the FOI Foundation Center and is dedicated to the Goddess Amaterasu No Kami.  Click here to listen to a meditation by Olivia Robertson from a past ritual:  (mp3 file/3 mins/692kb)

Audio transcript:
"The air and water of Aquarius symbolize spirit in union with emotions.  You rise above the situation in Aquarius - you have some terrible row or some problem at your work, or you've been having rows with people - the Aquarian method is to rise above it and look down and it becomes in proportion.  You don't ignore it. 
Have you any problem, don't hide it away and then it pops out at you later when you sleep in a nightmare.  Face it now and rise above it - look down on it from this starry standpoint.  All problems vanish when you are your true Self, for we are only players in this shadow world.  Now, at the birth of a new aeon, we look ahead, now we've solved our problems, to what we plan for our own future, not only now but in future lives, whether on earth or in the stars. . .
There is no jealousy, envy or hatred in the new aeon, for we share others' triumphs and glories.  There's no competition.  As we feel this, we feel the waters of Aquarius and the stars pour through us. . .Happiness is not yesterday or tomorrow, it is NOW and that now extends like ripples right through the whole of one's being.  Sorrow passes, joy lasts forever. 
You are receiving inspiration from the stars. . . and you can see the star Cassiopeia, the great "W" in the sky, the northern constellation and you know that beneath, below the south pole, is Aquarius.  And the stars are always there.  There is no loss.  We are shrouded with a starry mantle.  When the sun goes down the stars are seen: so in Winter, when our earthly vitality perhaps decreases, our inner spirit shines forth. . ."

(Photo by Minette Quick, audio by the Fellowship of Isis Homepage Archive, copyrights reserved.)

January 17, 2015

Animals of Clonegal Castle

The photo above is one of the lovely garden peacocks at Clonegal Castle. The peacock is often mentioned as a symbol of the Goddess Juno, which is this month's Oracle. You may also see other photos of the animals at the Foundation Center and also read about the Animal Family of Isis, by clicking on the links below:

(photo copyright Durdin-Robertson, all rights reserved: Huntington Castle website.)

January 13, 2015

Fellowship of Isis Prayer

"We thank you our Holy Mother Isis
for your Love, Beauty and Truth,
which surround us now and evermore."
(FOI Prayer by Olivia Robertson. Photo of the Foundation Center High Altar by Minette Quick: "Isis of the New Aeon of Aquarius" carved by David Durdin-Robertson.)

January 8, 2015

Sybil, Oracles of the Goddess

"Sybil, Oracles of the Goddess" is now available in paperback. It may be ordered through Amazon or any other bookstore, and it is also available through local libraries.  (You may always read it in its entirety at no charge at our website as well.) This book features 48 Oracles from the FOI Liturgy, as well as 6 illustrations, all from co-founder Olivia Robertson.
From the Introduction:
"The Deities have Their own Bodies of varying coloured radiations, stronger and more beautiful than anything we can imagine. Yet we and all other beings partake in Their Glory because we are all born of the Cosmic Mother. We project our shadow selves into incarnation in order to learn through experience. We develop discrimination and will power through choosing the good, and rejecting evil. Some hardy souls prefer to spend self-directed life-times of suffering, and so evolve through lone effort. Others who follow the path of the Mysteries gladly ask for and receive help from Those qualified to give it. These Oracles are for those who are willing to accept guidance in their efforts to bring the Divine Plan to fruition on earth."
Related Link: Online Bookstore

January 4, 2015

Altar of Juno

To go along with this month's Oracle and the January full moon,
the Shrine of Cancer at the Foundation Center,
which honors the Goddess Juno.

January 1, 2015

FOI Oracle of the Month

"You need beautiful minds to be one with the stars
and kindly hearts to feel their loving warmth."
Happy 2015 to all Aset Shemsu!  This month's Oracle features the Goddess Juno. You may read it in full by clicking on the link below:
(Photo of Olivia Robertson by Dennis Murphy, Logic Reality.)

December 28, 2014

Credo of the Fellowship of Isis

"We grow from the Earth
And we share Her fruits.
We fly with bright wings
And we reach the stars.
We are Immortal with all that is.
Evoe Isis!"

(Credo and painting by Olivia Robertson)

December 24, 2014

Highlighted Artwork: The Twin Mothers

"The Twin Mothers", illustration by Olivia Robertson.  Here are some quotes from the book, "Juno Covella" by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson: 
Anglo-Saxon: THE MOTHERS; Modraniht, Night of the Mothers. (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p.93):  "As the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, 'Yuleday', or the 'Child's day', and the night that preceded it, 'MotherNight' " (Hilda Davidson, Gods, Myths, N. Europe, p.112). . . "Bede mentions them in De Temporum Ratione (13), where he tells us that the night before Christmas was known in heathen times as Modraniht, 'The Night of the Mothers'. There seems little doubt that they were closely connected with the birth of children".
Babylonian: THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN. (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 93) on the festivals held on December 25th: "Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven. . The same festival was adopted by the Roman Church . . This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed."
Semitic (General): THE HEAVENLY VIRGIN, THE HEAVENLY GODDESS; ASTARTE. (Frazer, Golden Bough abgd. p. 358): "No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte".
Egyptian: ISIS, NUT. (Eisler, Royal Art of Astrol. p. 270): "The goddess Isis, the Virgo Caelestis, the Egyptian sky-goddess Nut [was] believed to give birth to the Sun on the 25th of December". (Fell. of Isis Dir.) "December 25th: ISIS AND HER SON HORUS. Festival of children and young animals and birds and other creatures".
Persian: SPENTA ARMAITI. (Frazer, Golden Bough abgd. p. 358):  "Mithra . . his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December". For Spenta Armaiti as the mother of Mithra see Days of the Month: 25th.
Cyprian: MYRRHA. (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 97): "The mother of Adonis . . was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son (Ovid, Metam. lib. x. v. 500-513) . - And this entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-Eve . . As Zero-Ashta, 'the seed of the woman', which name also signifies Ignigena, or 'born of the fire', he has to enter the fire on 'Mothernight', that he may be born the next day out of it".
You may read more about this day in Juno Covella:
Juno Covella - FOI Goddess Calendar

(Text and artwork, copyright reserved.)

December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice Festival

Foundation Centre
Winter Solstice Festival
20th December 2014
We were blessed with a crisp dry day as we met for our last ceremony of the year. As ever in addition to our regular membership we welcomed one or two members and their guests who had travelled to be with us for the first time, and there was an air of spiritual warmth amongst us as we set off singing to the Druid’s Grove. Here members of the priesthood invoked Deity in both Irish and English as we stood within its sacred circle, drawn to look up in amazement at the sheer height and majesty of these mighty trees - towering above us and reminding us again that Nature is our Mother, who meets our every need.

On this occasion it wasn’t possible to visit the ancient Abbey in the grounds, so we paused at Persephone’s Shrine, to invoke her permission to enter the Temple with pure hearts, before filing quietly into the beautiful atmosphere which awaited us within. As we gathered for invocations and individual blessings beside Brigid’s Well of Truth, the powerful energy of the sacred water rose up to inspire and welcome everyone to the hearth of the Goddess where all hearts are known.

During the blessings a beautiful Solstice version of Silent Night was sung and all was wrapped in magical peace as we proceeded to our seats around the High Altar, where a silver-veiled figure awaited our arrival to give us an Oracle from the Cailleach, the ancient Irish Goddess of Winter. Quiet yet clear as a distant bell on a frosty morning, she spoke from the perennial wisdom of the ages.

2014 has been a hard time for many of our members, a time of death and yet renewal, of coping with personal loss, yet continuing to seek to draw upon deep wells of connection to the divine for comfort and understanding. So we were invited to enter a space of rest and reflection for a while to the beautiful strains of the harp played live beside the Altar.

This was followed by a sharing of the deep inner release which may be evoked by connecting with the Dark Goddess such as the Welsh Goddess Ceridwen and Nepthys the sister of Isis. To provide balance we were reminded of working with the Divine Masculine in the form of Aengus Og, the Celtic God of Love. All revelation comes through devotion and entails inner work on ourselves, and each of us comes to it and expresses the fruits of it in different and uniquely valuable ways – so many thanks to the members of the priesthood who took part in this, and to everyone who joined in with the spirited chant which was offered to lift up our hearts in preparation for the truly inspiring Seasonal Story-telling treat which came next!

Spell-bound we listened to the telling of the wonders surrounding the conception and birth of a son - ‘achieved within the span of one full day only while the Sun stood still’ - of Aengus Og himself, the magical love child of the Ancient Irish God the Dagda Mor and the Goddess Boann. Told in tones of wonder, using her ‘bohran’ (the traditional Irish hand drum) to perfection, our powerful story-teller held us in the palm of her hand.

The main proceedings were completed with a quiet inner journey, offered by yet another member of the priesthood, and the golden and silvered energies of her gentle steadying voice brought inner peace and returned us safely back to ourselves in the Temple.

Minette Quick
(photo of belvedere on Castle grounds, copyright reserved)