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)

December 21, 2014

Solstice Sun and New Moon in Capricorn

Blessings of the New Moon and the Solstice Sun in Capricorn! Hear an audio file of Olivia Robertson speaking of the Constellation of Capricorn and the stories behind the stars:

 (mp3/ 90 sec/ 354kb)
 Audio text:
"At Clonegal Castle in Ireland, it is Winter in the constellation of Capricorn. Let us contemplate this mystery of the humble Earth at the far distant stars of Capricorn, which some saw as a sea goat. Teachings given to us by the Magi. For they would ask a simple person: "my friend what is that in the sky?" They would say: 'it's goat's horns.' And the Magus would say, 'I will tell you concerning that goat.' And so the starry book revealed myths not known to astronomers, yet written in the Book of Fate. Despise not the myths of the stars, for they were linked to the simple imagination of humble fellow friends who gazed at the sky and called them names, and the teachings were given. And so their souls were brought nourishment. Let us contemplate the Earth and the constellation of Capricorn. . ."

(Cropped photo by Minette Quick of the Well Chapel of Brigid, Foundation Center Temple, Ireland. This north-east corner is also the Shrine of Capricorn. The well cover was painted by Olivia Robertson and represents the Sidhe of Water and Earth. Audio and photo copyright protected.)

December 20, 2014

Solstice Blessings

"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. When a group gathers for a seasonal festival, even in a small room, affinity is realised with the cosmos. Above is not a mere plaster ceiling with an electric light bulb suspended from it - but the starry glory of the heavens. Behind the television set is the mystery of the setting sun: beyond the radiator is the radiance of the circumpolar stars: by the door may be felt the influence of the centre of our galaxy, near Vega, the Weaver Maid. And mighty Orion is rising below the sitting-room carpet, as he chases Taurus, and in turn is followed by the Star of Isis now below the earth."  (Olivia Robertson from the book, "Dea.")

(The Inner Sun painting by Olivia Robertson, Foundation Center Temple, Ireland.)

December 17, 2014

Jocelyn Almond: Dulce Domum rite

Blessings to all Aset Shemsu.  The FOI's funeral rite, the Dulce Domum, will be held for Dr. Jocelyn Almond on Friday, the 19th of December at 12:20pm GMT. (7:20am EST). Those who wish to attune are invited, and you may download a copy of the ritual from her memorial page here:

(photo of Window Shrine for Absent Friends at the Foundation Center Temple, by Minette Quick)

December 10, 2014

Temple Doors

"A spiral procession slowly and surely winding its way through a garden inwards towards a temple blends two spheres, the earthly and the psychic. After such a ceremony, the garden or field has a different, more psychically alive atmosphere, which may be felt even by those unacquainted with the occult. The wearing of robes and regalia, the playing of musical instruments, enhance the effect. However, if neighbours may wonder when they hear chanting, the clash of symbols, the eerie notes of the flute and the rattle of the sistrum, all that is needed is a quiet walk around the garden in everyday clothes. During this silent walk, thoughts are sent forth to bless plants and the earth. The procession then winds inwards to the hall door and so within to the shrine. So is the outer acknowledged and blended with the inner. After the Rite within the shrine, which brings through the Power needed for the good purpose of the ceremony, it is needful that the procession should return out-of-doors, preferably in a contrary spiral movement. This return is not to inhibit the Power, nor to dispense with the aid of those elemental and other Beings who have chosen to join in the ceremony. It is to disperse the power outwards so that it may radiate blessing to the whole neighbourhood and the surrounding plants, earth and streams."  (Olivia Robertson, "Dea: Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess")
(photo of the doors to the Foundation Center Temple, painted by Olivia Robertson.)

December 1, 2014

FOI Oracle for December

"Every time you send forth healing for all,
or for one animal or plant,
you change the world around you for good."

The Oracle for this month is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Jocelyn Almond. You may read it in full here:

(Photo of Olivia Robertson from the Logic Reality DVD "Olivia Robertson, Priestess of Isis." Copyright reserved.)