In Memory of Olivia Robertson (1917-2013)
By Luke Eastwood
Olivia was born into the Durdin-Robertson family, during the First World
War, in April 1917. Coming from a colourful, cultured and charismatic family,
that can trace its history at Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow over many
hundreds of years, she was no less memorable than any of her illustrious
I was lucky enough to know her for the last ten years but it is only in
her passing that I became fully aware of what an incredible woman she truly
was. Olivia rarely talked of herself, she was modest to a fault and was far
more interested in hearing what other people had to say than blowing her own
trumpet. This was despite the fact that she had been an ardent socialist,
war-time nurse, celebrated novelist and painter long before she became the
esoteric colossus that the pagan community in Ireland and beyond knew her to
Olivia, with her brother Lawrence and his wife Pamela founded the Fellowship of Isis in 1976 and its
sister organisation Druid Clan Of Dana (An Clann Draoidheachta Danann) in 1992.
From small beginnings it has expanded to become a huge international
organisation with many thousands of members worldwide.
Since its beginnings Olivia worked tirelessly to spread a message of
love, hope and toleration in a world that is in many parts beset with the lack
of these qualities. She was idealistic in that her aspirations and standards
were for the highest good in every way, however she was also a realist and
pragmatic in her efforts to bring their vision to life.
She was extremely direct, almost frighteningly honest, sometimes severe
but always this was tempered by her immense love of life and compassion for all
people and all that lives. Olivia was kind and generous, most of all with her
time and attention, a commodity that many have in short supply. She embodied to
the last the concepts of fairness, tolerance, beauty, wisdom and love that are
enshrined in the manifesto of the Fellowship.
I am truly grateful for the time I was fortunate enough to have spent
with her, like so many of us I will miss her lust for life, intellectual
rigour, great humour and overriding positivity. She was a shining example of
what members of the pagan community can be, few of her ilk are to be found, in
any walk of life and her presence will be greatly missed.
Olivia, may you rest in the arms of your beloved Isis and Osiris.
Arddroi Tom, DanaClan piper
played a lament for Lady Olivia past Thusday after we had got the sad message
of Olivia´s passing to TirNanOg.
Our beautiful spiritual teacher and wonderful friend
Olivia now happily enjoys TirNanOg together with her brother and his wife.
May we all honour her legacy in following her example
in how we live and handle our priestly / druid jobs.
The members of Domus Sophiae Terrae et Sancte Gradalis (Earth Wisdom and the Holy Grail) met this afternoon to remember Olivia. We created an extended version of the Fair Haven, with personal recollections and a reading of the instructions to the soul from the Pyramid Texts of the pyramid of Unas. We also rejoiced that the souls of Olivia, Derry and Pamela, our founders, are now united. This was the image we put upon the shrine, showing the very heart of the College of Isis at work. Olivia hallowed many hearts in ordination and now she herself becomes a shining star in the lap of Isis.
One of my favorite memories of her - Olivia and I had spent the day at the castle together and the next morning I was heading back to the USA. I mentioned that I was feeling a bit sad about leaving her (and Eire). She walked me to the front door and gave me a quick hug. As I turned to leave she called out to me, "There is no need for sadness, for although every good-bye is a death, it means that the next hello will be a resurrection". She waved merrily, stepped back inside and then closed the door behind her.
Lady Amber Dawn
I first met Lady Olivia at Deena Butta's house in 1997 (or 1998). It was only my second time in Chi-town but my first time at the Butta house and I had to sleep on the living room floor! NO matter, I was in Chicago!!! I think that Isadora Forrest was featured for that Goddess Fest. Anyway, a petite woman came to me and asked me who I was. I said to her, AMber Dawn, of course being quite proud. She (Lady Olivia) said to me, of course you are!!!! Then she wanted to KNOW how I could serve the Fellowship! We talked for a long while before the others came, then she smiled at me,with her quirky smile and said goodbye! Although I stayed at the Butta house, I did not see Lady Olivia again that particular night! However, everytime we meet, Lady Olivia would say to me "how could I SERVE the Fellowship???!!" Farewell, Lady O, you will be sorely missed especially by me!!! - Lady Amber Dawn
One of the last things that Lady
Olivia shared with me is the power of silence. She said to me that anyone can
speak and few can listen. Continue to be a good listener. I have to say that
she and I always had our little conversations on the inner. She was always
revealing the many aspects of Divinity through her radiance and her teachings.
I look forward to more work on the inner with you Lady Olivia.. I loved you and
I will continue to love and learn from you. Just as you state in the rite I
perform for you today at noon. We must continue to develop our work on the
inner to stay connected to truth. I feel your golden cord of beauty love wisdom
and truth wrapped around me like the Knot of Isis. My prayer is that we all
continue to have a clear and open connection to your wisdom and the Truth about
I love you deeply Lady Olivia … Mana.
Photo of Olivia Robertson and Tribute shared by Pat Cummins
Ms. Magi Berk:
Carolina A. Amor of Circulo de Isis: I´ll be translating this rite [Dulce Domum] during this weekend so we can celebrate it in Circulo de Isis
In memory of Olivia, several members sent photos for inclusion in Isian News.
Dorn Simon-Sinnott has sent these photos taken when she attended seasonal festivals at the Temple of Isis at Clonegal Castle:
Below, three photos from Celia Thomas of Glastonbury, UK, who was Olivia’s hostess for many years. These photos were taken during Olivia’s last visit in 2012:
Below, three photos from Carole Linda Gonzalez of Grove Argentum, New York City, New York. Carole was hostess to Olivia during her stays in New York City. Carole was so generous we are able to share these three photos and still have others for use in future issues of Isian News: