December 31, 2013

New Year's Blessings

Lawrence Durdin-Robertson wrote in his book, "Juno Covella" under Dec. 31st:
"Hestia, Vesta. Ever-living flame of the hearth.
Life is eternal, and manifests - by rebirth through, the Mothers.
Fires and candles re-lighted from past flame.
Life renewal."
Happy 2014 from the Fellowship of Isis Homepage Archive!
("The Fiery Mother" illustration by Olivia Robertson, 2005)

December 29, 2013

The Dark Moons of Winter

Hear a short audio clip of Olivia Robertson during an FOI ritual:
(mp3/21 sec/85kb)

"The dark moons of winter bring initiation to the soul who would penetrate the Abyss, and so learn the occult knowledge of the Tree of Life, which bears the Spheres as its fruit - the Spheres of Being!"

(Photo of snowfall at the Foundation Center Castle, sent by Olivia many years ago. Audio and photo copyright reserved)

December 22, 2013

Winter Solstice Festival

IRELAND 21.12.2013
By:  Minette Quick

The day of the Solstice dawned with the crash of thunder and lightning and downpours of rain…..

Then it cleared for several hours and reports were heard that the annual gathering at Newgrange in Co. Meath of those fortunate enough to have won tickets in the national draw to greet the long-awaited dawn were treated to the rare and magnificent sight of the light pouring down the central passage in which they stood right inside Ireland’s ancient and world-famous passage grave.

By the time our Fellowship members had gathered at the Castle later in the day, several further waves of wild, windy and wet weather had swept the country and there was certainly no possibility of processing round the grounds, so we entered the Temple of Isis by Persephone’s Shrine and Garden Gate and all Invocations were made at Brigid’s Well of Truth. The atmosphere shone most beautifully and Lady Olivia’s presence could be felt in her beloved Temple throughout the Ceremony which had been planned, coordinated and led by the Rev. Cait Branigan at the request of Olivia’s chosen successor Rev. Cressida Pryor, who of course lives in the United Kingdom. Most beautiful live harp music and song was interspersed by various members throughout our time together, which deepened and enhanced the sense of purity and harmony already present. Olivia would have loved this!

Gathered round the High Altar, we first received a most beautiful and encouraging Oracle from the Goddess of Wisdom, Sophia. Then several members stood forward to take the main parts of an insightful Mystery Play based on the story of Newgrange. Various ideas had been offered by members for inclusion, such as the clarity and brilliance of Arianrhod and the winter constellations, the opposing forces (i.e. the baddies, in Olivia’s traditional and much-beloved format for improvised drama); the Deity bringing the message of the Gods (Arianrhod), the message of Boand (the Modron/Mother) and Oenghus the younger, the Divine Child of Light (the Mabon) at this sacred time, and Oenghus the older, God of Love.

Much could be said of the wisdom offered by each but suffice it to say that the opposing and inner nature of the forces of the ‘baddie’ within us expressed as greed and selfishness, was met by the inspired words of the Goddess, seemingly stern and unbending at times but ultimately working through the cycles of the seasons of life to bring back harmony, the love of the Mother for all and the Birth of the Light and Inner Sun which lies within each one of us ready to burst into new life.

The remainder of this inspiring ceremony was focused on providing and encouraging everyone present to take this opportunity to contribute their personal memories of Olivia. Strands of many coloured wools had been given out to everyone and then collected and braided together as a symbol of the joining of our hearts into a beautiful rainbow rope to grace the High Altar as the stories were told. The fun, the wisdom, the astonishing foresight, the adventures, in short the real, irrepressible phenomenon of nature and the divine that was Olivia came forth in abundance!!! The winter’s cold was more than offset by the warmth of our hearts.

We all retired to Osborne’s famous ‘coaching inn’ in the Village afterwards for hot tea and our traditional informal time together and for many more happy memories of a great lady whom so many met and were inspired by during her long and fruitful life. Her influence will last in the lives of us all for many years yet.

Much happiness to everyone throughout the Fellowship at this special time, and every blessing for the coming New Year in 2014.

Minette Quick

Warm thanks to Minette for sharing her beautiful accounts with FOI members and gratitude to all members of the Circle of Brigid for continuing the tradition of the festivals at Clonegal Castle.

Events at Clonegal Castle

December 21, 2013

Shrine of Capricorn

Blessings of the Solstice and the Sun in Capricorn!  Please click on the link below to hear a historic audio clip of Olivia Robertson giving a meditation on the Window of Capricorn in the Zodiac Temple:
(mp3 file - 517 kb - 2:12 mins)
Audio transcript:
"We move towards the North, to the window of Capricorn.  It is mighty and vivid with colors that seem to be alive.  Above the window is the sign of Capricorn.  We see a stained-glass picture of a goat, with fish's tail, accompanied by a green man crowned with leaves, and a mermaid holding a cornucopia - every sort of good thing, fruit and wheat.  We like the green man too, with his comical expression, his golden halo and his antlers and his leaves. However, suddenly the wind blows the window open and we face the actual constellation of Capricorn in its spiritual form.. . The Magi of old called Capricorn "Altera Solis Porta", the starry gateway for souls to enter heaven.  Here we gaze at the stars and hope for a vision of the Earth Goddess, who is our Goddess of the Earth, Nerthus.  For we know that She is crowned with the stars, holds the earth in her hands and has the moon on Her brow and the sun as a robe.  We accept the gifts of earth - trees and flowers and animals and birds.  We adore Her and She is in all beings, as is Her green Consort.  We are whole.  May the blessings of the Goddess Nerthus bring you wisdom and peace, now and forever."
(Photo of an older version of the Shrine of Capricorn in the Castle Temple.  Womb/Grael Tapestry by Lisa Fonkert and the winged-Brigid figure was carved by David Durdin-Robertson. Photo and audio copyright reserved)
Archival Links:  Online Audio Gallery & FOI Ritual CDs

December 17, 2013

Castle Grounds

"The garden is counted to be the second oldest garden in Ireland.  The terraces were laid out by Alexander (ii) Durdin in about 1860.  Much of the wilderness was tilled, for root crops.  The terraces were dug down about 4 feet and the bank removed by the Rev. Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, who also filled in the path on the southeast side of the Castle and the path running from the house to the centre walk."

Quote from the booklet "Clonegal Castle," by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson.
(photo by Stacy S., copyright reserved)

December 15, 2013

Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess

Apologies for being a little behind in our bookstore announcements.  "Fortuna, Creation through the Goddess" has been available in paperback from Amazon since October.  Here how Olivia Robertson described this book in the introduction:
"The rites in this book are dedicated to the Goddess of Fate, Fortuna. They involve a three-fold woven plait derived from alchemy, myth and astrology. Each begins with an Oracle that presents the Theme. A Candidate who is represented in each Rite declares the Magical Intention. A succession of cards from the Marseille deck have to be interpreted during the twelve Rites, to give the Candidate a symbolic key. During the initiatory journey, the Candidate is faced with the robed Goddess of Wisdom, Themis, holding the scroll of Sybilline prophecies. During succeeding Rites, the Conjuror teaches control of the four elements of consciousness. The raising of the serpent Fire of Life within is demonstrated by La Force, a woman with lion emerging from her body. When the Candidate has ritually undergone the five-fold Initiation of hanging, death, the Angel, the Devil, Heavenly Lightning and The Judgement, the lunar, solar and starry spheres are experienced, culminating in a vision of the Cosmic Goddess of the Zodiac. Themis removes her veil and reveals herself as the naked Fortuna surrounded by the four Guardians of the zodiac. During each Rite, having interpreted Tarot symbolism, the Candidate is offered a Mystery drama, drawn from world mythology. Related to present-day events, the Candidate is introduced to the tragic King Oedipus as a modern atomic physicist. The cursed Ring of Norse myth represents a circle of volcanic eruptions: the antediluvian Cesara's ark becomes a modern seed-gathering spaceship. The third strand of this plait involves a series of magical journeys through the twelve zodiacal houses. The Temple of the Zodiac is visualised as etheric, and therefore nearest to our physical world. Through this Temple the Candidate experiences psychic, spiritual and divine spheres. Thus the macrocosm is revealed through creative imagination as the source of the microcosm. The incomprehensible magnificence of the stars offers infinite possibilities for our own gift of creation. Time and place become fluid, material for the cosmic artist, co-creating with the Deities. Even the physical earth can be changed for good. This realisation brings the candidate back to earthly tasks. A child's drawing of a tiger calls on us all to preserve tigers from extinction. A dream of an Arcadian tree reminds us to protect rain forests. Inspired by the Goddess of Fate, we know what to do."
All of the FOI Liturgy may always be read in full for free:  Online Liturgy
(All books are also being made available to obtain through local libraries.)

December 13, 2013

Fellowship of Isis Prayer

"We thank you our Holy Mother Isis
for your Love, Beauty and Truth,
which surround us now and evermore."

(Isis blessing plants carving by David Durdin-Robertson at the Castle Temple.  Photo by Minette Quick.)

More FOI Prayers

December 8, 2013

Upcoming memorials for Olivia Robertson

Homepage Archive: There are still several memorials for Olivia Robertson coming up, including those in Northern California, Chicago and London - more information at the link below. If you wish to have your event included, please contact us:

(Olivia walking the Castle grounds courtesy of Dennis Murphy, Logic Reality. Copyright reserved.)

December 5, 2013

Photo of Olivia

Olivia Robertson at the Castle gate.  This is a still photo from the previously posted dvd clip.  Our thanks to Dennis Murphy of Logic Reality for sharing this.

December 2, 2013

DVD Clip of Olivia Robertson

Our thanks to the producers of Olivia Robertson's DVD, Olivia, Priestess of Isis, for sharing this new video clip.  Dennis Murphy and Steven Jones write:  "This was the last time we filmed dear Olivia. The last look through the temple window." 

We will embed the video at a later time, when Blogger is more cooperative - in the meantime, you can go directly to the Youtube link:

(Olivia's video may be ordered from this link:  Logic Reality)

December 1, 2013

Oracle of Grainne

As we continue our work within the Fellowship of Isis community, we give a grateful and loving salute to the spirit of Olivia Robertson.  The FOI Oracle for this month is from the Goddess Grainne.  As far as we know, this has not be printed in any of the FOI Liturgy.  You can read and also hear an audio clip of this from a past ritual with  Lawrence Durdin-Robertson as the Priest Hierophant and Olivia Robertson as the Oracle at the following link:

(photo by Dennis Murphy, Logic Reality)