Welcome to the Fellowship of Isis: Rediscovering the Love and Compassion of the Goddess! The FOI is an international society founded in 1976 by Olivia, Lawrence and Pamela Durdin-Robertson. Societies include: the College of Isis, Spirals of the Adepti & Alchemy, Druid Clan of Dana, Noble Order of Tara & the Muses Symposium. The purpose of this blog is for sharing general FOI information, website updates and announcements sent directly from the central FOI Foundation Center in Ireland.
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".
Blessings of the Winter Solstice! Olivia Robertson writes in the liturgy booklet Dea:
"In a Seasonal Rite, the invocation is connected with a special time of year, with the cyclic movements of the celestial bodies and with the climatic changes of the earth. For those living in a town, cut off from nature in her wild form, even the visualising of Stonehenge and the Polar stars at the Winter Solstice brings food for the soul, a reminder of past incarnations, a harmony with nature spirits."
To celebrate the season, here is a special audio clip of Olivia as Oracle of the Goddess Rhea, from the FOI ritual, "Winter, Star Rite." Click on the link below:
"If you would find me, look within yourself. Within you is space and time and all the stars that are. There is no star within my being that echoes not some hope, some dream, within each creature held within my Self. There is no distance in me, no separation: am I not the Void of Space? All moves with perfect accord within my blackness: and in my manifestation is there Light. Feel no fear. My life is eternal and so therefore all that have been, that are, that shall be, are my children. When you think - you reflect my thoughts; and when you feel - you know the beating of my heart. The breath of Life is mine and through this you live. Yet each of you is unique: if you were not so, you would not exist! Not one flower is like another. For in me is perfect Origin. Show forth my grace in your ideas and work, in individual particularity. For why should I hold in my embrace so many stars, if only one would do? Laugh! I am too great for solemnity: too mighty for analysis - yet none of my children may be belittled. In my laughter is heard the happy music of the constellations!"