Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cover - Isian News 155, Brigantia 2015

Issue No. 155, Brigantia, 2015
Published Quarterly Since 1976

  “Brigid of the Five-Fold Fractal”
by Olivia Robertson

Aset Shemsu – Retinue of Isis

Invocation and Oracle, and About the Cover

Invocation and Oracle

Isis of Alchemy, Transformation Through the Goddess
Fellowship of Isis Liturgy by Olivia Robertson

The Jade Pylon of Earth
The Octagonal Temple of Alchemy

Ritual no. 8


Invocation: Rainbow Goddess Tara, Who brings Heaven and Earth into harmony through Your manifold beautiful forms, help us to live in Peace with each other and all that is.

Oracle: Because you wish this, it is so! There is a fundamental longing within every creature, every element, to blend with all that crosses its path. In the evolving creatures of earth, this leads to the devouring of food, violence, rape and cruelty. But buried in the heart of even the most savage predator, animal or human, is the will to return to the Universal Mother, Who gives birth to all that is.

Yin and Yang the cosmic feminine and masculine modes are out of balance on earth. The Yang power of controlling Nature by force is threatening the continuance of earthly organic life. To save this, we need to bring balance by invoking Yin Power, Feminine Divinity.

Instead of making harsh laws that defy your own natures, grow your own souls as you cultivate plants! You do this by enjoying the company of others, living in harmony with nature and in practicing the creative arts. For you create your own hells and heavens. When you do wrong, openly face this and make reparation. Then forgive yourself and others. It is cruel to invent hells for people you imagine to be "dark" or "evil" even if this is so. With your gift of creation, make heavens for evil doers, and they may choose to dwell there in new found Peace.

Where is this buried treasure? Within the earth! Yes, there is a sun within, but there are many suns! But unique among the encircling Planets of the solar system, earth produces abundant living beings. The Goddess and God is within each one of you. You are united with a rainbow network with all that is. 

Note: The Invocation, Oracle, and Ritual are available here: The Jade Pylon of Earth

About the Cover

Olivia wrote the following explanation for this piece: “I have painted a five-fold Palladium myself, superimposing it over a silver Piscean Madonna… She has vermilion hair, very long, and she holds her baby girl, also with long red hair. The baby holds a doll with spiky red hair. The doll holds a mini-doll ********

She is Brigid holding Bride: Magdalene holding Sophia. Something was lacking. Were we only to diminish in consciousness? No! So I painted giant hands coming out of a tumultuous sky, enfolding the figure in a maternal embrace.”  

(Excerpt from “The FractalGoddess of Solar Alchemy”, introduction to rituals 1 and 2, “Ishtar of the Starry Heavens”.)  

Announcement - Statement of The Star of Tara

The Star of Tara

The Star of Tara, an advisory board of the Fellowship of Isis, consists of the following members: Hamsa Devi, David de Roeck, Arthur Freeheart, Maury White-Hereford, Daniel Campbell, Christine Rhone, Johannes Nugroho Onggo Sanusi, Kasey Conder, Carolina A. Amor, Maire Doyle and Linda Iles. The Star of Tara has issued the following:

Statement - Star of Tara

The Star of Tara, an Advisory Board of the Fellowship of Isis, is committed to upholding the vision of Olivia Robertson and Lawrence and Pamela Durdin-Robertson. We honor and safeguard the legacy of the work of the three Fellowship of Isis co-founders; continuing their legacy unchanged. We uphold the Fellowship of Isis as initiated by the three co-founders; to resurrect a tenant of vocation to the Divine, be it God or Goddess, furthering awareness of the Goddess, and initiation into Her mysteries. This is as true now as it has always been.

The Star of Tara is for that New Aeon. We still recognize in full the Druid Clan of Dana, Noble Order of Tara, College of Isis, Muses Symposium and types of centers, whether iseums, solar iseums, lyceums, groves and priories under the Sacred FOI Foundation Union Triad. The triad consists of the ArchPriesthood Union, the ArchDruid Union and the Grand Commander Union. We are here to guide assist and walk with all those who have been called to vocation to the Divine.

The three FOI Co-Founders, Lawrence and Pamela Durdin-Robertson and Olivia Robertson created the following methods and practices of the Fellowship of Isis. They were written down by Olivia Robertson and published by Cesara Publications, the private publishing house of the FOI Co-Founders. Each numbered section is an exact quote extracted from the source cited in parentheses.

1. “The Fellowship is dedicated to spreading the religion of all the Goddesses throughout this planet. The Gods are also venerated. The Goddess is seen as Deity, the Divine Mother of all beings, as well as the embodiment of Truth and Beauty.” (Original Version of the FOI Manifesto, 1976)

2. “Creativity comes from the harmony of the psychic and earthly spheres. The Goddess needs our help, that She may bring Her era of happiness, wisdom and creativity to this earth. Each member who chooses to join the Fellowship dedicated to the Goddess may give a unique contribution. Every talent is needed.” (Original Version of the FOI Manifesto, 1976)

3. “The Priesthood of the Fellowship of Isis is hereditary in source through the Robertsons of Strathloch, and is passed to priestesses and priests of the Fellowship through the Rite of Ordination, also through touch and oil. Vocation is essential. The Priestesses and Priests may in turn ordain others, either through ceremony or through oil and touch, as was the custom in Ancient Egypt. The ceremony may be conducted at a distance through mutual arrangement.” (Original Handbook of the Fellowship of Isis, 1992)

4. a. “Vocation from the Goddess is essential for candidates for the Priesthood. When this Vocation is experienced, the would-be candidate should apply to a member of the Priesthood. Preparation varies according to the ways of each Iseum [or lyceum], but an initiatory period of a year would be the minimum time needed. The candidate chooses the Goddess or Goddess and God she/he wishes to serve in order to help the Deity in the Divine Plan. Ordination by Attunement is only used when the applicant is in an isolated position. Preparation may be made through a Correspondence Course.” (Original Handbook of the Fellowship of Isis, 1992)

b. Ordination is bestowed by the F.O.I. Priesthood through the ceremony “Ordination of Priestesses and Priests”, the Rite inspired by Isis for the F.O.I. Liturgy. The same Ordination ceremony conveyed through Telepathic Attunement is as effective as the physical Rite. Telepathy is the language of the New Aeon. (Handbook of the Fellowship of Isis, second edition, 1995)

5. “The College of Isis has been revived after its suppression 1,500 years ago. Like Aset Shemsu, the F.O.I. itself, it has always been alive in the Inner Planes. It is from these Inner Planes that its return has been inspired. As the College of Isis is part of the Fellowship, the ideal of the Manifesto also apply. The qualities of Goodness, Harmony and Wisdom are manifested through a multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-cultural Fellowship which honours the good in all faiths. Magi degrees may be conferred through Lyceums of the College. Correspondence courses are offered. There are no vows nor secrecy.” (Original Handbook of the Fellowship of Isis, 1992, Second Version of the FOI Manifesto, 1992)

6. “The Goddess Isis alone is Head of Her Fellowship. Within Her Family - Shemsu - all members will still have equal privileges. Membership will continue to be free. F.O.I. is not a Patriarchal Hierarchy, so no member can have spiritual authority over another. Iseums, Lyceums, Groves and Priories will remain on equal footing. Titles describe work undertaken, and are not a badge of authority over people or beliefs.” (Original Handbook of the Fellowship of Isis, 1992)

7. “Each Lyceum, through its Dedication, is twinned with an initial Iseum, thus bringing the College into close communion with the wider network of Iseums. The Dedicatory Divine Names of Power of Goddess, or Goddess and God manifest particular attributes of the Deities concerned in the Iseum - Lyceum. Therefore there can be no set curriculum for the College. Deity in its eternal Being contains all aspects mirrored forth through the whole Company of Heaven, from Deities to birds. Thus Hierophants, through inspiration from their particular Deity or Deities, produce their own training Course. This reflects the democratic character of the Fellowship …” (Original College of Isis Manual, 1992)

8. (a.) “The Liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis has been inspired by She whose name it bears; She who is crowned with the stars, is robed by the sun and standeth upon the moon. It deals with earthly, psychic and spiritual spheres.” (Original College of Isis Manual, 1992)    

(b.) “All the Arts strengthen Ritual and bring about purposeful changes. When ancient liturgies are recited and words of Power uttered, sound reverberates through the centuries, note calling to note. Words are uttered, even in translation, they reiterate those used in temples for thousands of years. In these Rites for the Fellowship of Isis, ancient invocations, hymns and dialogues are used from ancient liturgies from many religions. For the time has come when Iris, the rainbow messenger, is forming a pattern of beauty from many faiths. … So in these Rites prayers and hymns are used from Karnak, Babylon, Africa, the Norse lands, India, China, Japan, the Celtic countries. For all are relevant, and without one faith the planetary symphony is deficient.” (Introduction, "Dea, Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess" FOI liturgy book, written by Olivia Robertson, 1988)

9. "As the Goddess Isis inspired the ArchPriesthood Union, so the Goddess Dana and the Goddess Tara have inspired the foundation of the ArchDruid Union of the Druid Clan of Dana and the Grand Commander Union of the Noble Order of Tara. This triad brings into harmony the Priesthood, the Mysteries and Philosophy, and Environmental Activity. The inspired guidance came through Rt. Rev. Olivia Robertson at Isis Oasis, USA. The three Unions form a triad of equal importance, they are on the same level, share the same format and same scope of work. All three Foundation Unions are protected by the Wings of Isis, inspired by the Holy Grael of Dana and strengthened by the Sacred Mounds of Tara." (Announcement by Olivia Robertson, published in Isian News, Issue no. 134, Samhain, 2009; Isis-Seshat Journal, Issue no. 24, December, 2009)

The above statement is supported by the following, who are pledged to honor and safeguard the legacy of the work of the three Fellowship of Isis co-founders; continuing their legacy unchanged, which also includes all the FOI centres and communities they represent in perpetuity:

Star of Tara Advisory Board
Circle of Isis Advisory Board
Circle of the Sacred Cauldron Advisory Board
FOI Germany
Fellowship of Isis Central
Fellowship of Isis Utah
Circulo de Isis
FOI Chicago
FOI London
Irmandade de Isis
Compagnia de Iside

Upcoming Events

 The Perfect Way to Keep Track of FOI Events!

A beautiful calendar for the Fellowship of Isis is offered by FOI Germany as a free pdf download. The calendar was created in joint cooperation between FOI Germany and FOI Central. You may view the file and download it here:

 Many Thanks to Claudia Wehmeyer of FOI Germany for this beautiful calendar!

Isis Symposium, April 9 - 12, 2015, Isis Oasis Retreat Center, Geyserville, CA. The event theme is ancient Egypt and the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Deadline for presentation proposals is February 28. Please sent proposals or questions to  Blog:

FOI International Priesthood Retreat, August 28 - 30, 2015 - Vision of the New Aeon led by Cressida Pryor, Cáit Branigan & Caitlín Matthews. Fees: Single £215, Shared £185, Non-res. £140. Please send your non-returnable deposit of £90 payable to Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Rd., Stroud, Glos GL6 7QW (01453 759034) quoting course 15-341 Enclose an SAE for map & confirmation.

Parliament of World's Religions, October, 2015
held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kasey Conder, head of Fellowship of Isis Utah will be coordinating FOI participation in this event. For more information please visit the post on the
Fellowship of Isis Central blog. 

FOI Convocation, Temple of Isis, October 8 - 12, 2015, Isis Oasis Retreat Center, Geyserville, CA. Deities honored will be Hathor of Denderah and Horus of Edfu.

Circle of the Sacred Cauldron – “Dark and Full moon mothers of the night, Surround us with your love of dark and light.” Temple of Isis Long Beach/Circle of the Sacred Cauldron. Honor the Dark and Full moon monthly, via rituals by attunement. The times are 4 through 6:30 Pm PST. Different gods and goddesses are invited as guests. Names are placed into the sacred cauldron for health peace love and prosperity. If you want your name or your loved ones name in the sacred cauldron, please e-mail Anniitra Ravenmoon


 Winter Solstice Faire

From Anniitra Ravenmoon: Long Beach WomanSpirit, and the Temple of Isis, Los Angeles, founded by Laura Janesdaughter, celebrated our (20th plus) Winter Solstice Fair with beautiful weather, joined by friends old and new. Our opening circle was dedicated to our ancestors and loved  ones who have crossed over, culminating with a love balloon ceremony led by Lucy Tate, a veteran vendor of our fair, in honor of her beloved son, Julian. It ushered us into a wonderful day of shopping, entertainment and celebration. Blessings and thanks to all for your continued support.

Thank you Tony Mierzwicki for the wonderful photo!

The photo above was taken at Isis Oasis on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm. Several of us noticed the small point of light in the sky above the Isis Chapel, which is the star Sirius. The picture was taken while standing near the Great Tree. (Photo by Jeff Iles)

Some Thoughts ... What If?
Ptahmassu Nofra Uaa 

 Olivia Robertson ordaining Ptahmassu at Isis Oasis, FOI Convocation, 2002

On October 13, 2002 I was ordained by Lady Olivia Robertson as a Priest of the Goddess Isis in the International Fellowship of Isis, the largest community of Goddess adorers in the world. The Fellowship of Isis is a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic family spanning the globe, consecrated to living the ideals of the Goddess in today's world. We follow no dogma or authoritative text.

Dogma constrains the conscience of the individual, and authoritative texts strangle the human longing for freedom. It is by developing our psychic gifts, intuition, devotion and wisdom of the Sacred that we come closest to our pure selves, and it is within this purity that the Goddess Isis speaks clearly as the Universal Mother. She includes, never excludes. She embraces, never shuns. She reaches out Her hand to take our sorrows and bring us together into wholeness.

What if one day each member of the human family awoke to find that there were no longer boundaries separating us as dwellers on the same planet? What if gender dissolved? What if sexual orientation no longer acted as a barrier to the joy of love and sexual passion? What if race no longer inflamed hatred, but instead became an embodiment of the diversity of the human condition? What if being human no longer separated us from animals, trees, birds...the waters? What if we could gather up our joy, pleasure and existence and share it freely with others?

These are the treasures I have found in the Goddess, and though I cannot claim to be spiritually enlightened or self-realized, I have found within my heart a place where being human is a cause for the greatest gratitude and love. The Sacred and the "mundane" are two sides of the same mirror. When we look into the mirror and we see a good person, then we are seeing God, Goddess, Enlightenment, Salvation.

(Photo, above) Here I am being Consecrated by Lady Olivia Robertson beneath a 500 year old tree, a tree embodying the generations of the human race who have come together to celebrate the Sacredness of this Mystery we call life.

 Isian Society for Integrated Studies
Vigil for Olivia Robertson and Loreon Vigne

 Mana, left, and Loreon, right

Report from Mana Youngbear: Last night on Sunday [November 2, 2014] we four priestesses of the Isian Society for Integrated Studies in Willits, Californian came together and performed our annual Dumb Supper, which we have changed the name to "The Ancestor's Silent Mass."

Although I do not have photos of this spectacular altar , I was taken back by the presence of the ancestors in the room.

An altar was made with framed photos of Lady Loreon Vigne' and Lady Olivia Robertson with their obituaries below illuminated by candlelight.

Peter Norris a local light worker confirmed for me as well as many others that evening that the presence of the beloved dead was alive and loving.

We opened our ritual all in black with ankh and altar In memory of Lady Olivia Robertson.

We called the directions in with our late beloved Lady Loreon Vigne's "Song For the Directions" and then went directly into the reciting of names of the dead and then the Silent Mass to be followed by the song Angle of Bells.

After the mass and song that the entire group sang , priestess Annie Waters dismissed the directions and we all brought chairs around the long banquet style altar with photos candles and favorite foods of the deceased and shared stores of our distinguished spirit guests.

The food and conversation was wonderful and all left feeling quite complete. Proceeds of this ritual will go to the local Phoenix Hospice of Willits and we will return next year to do the same.

Thank you to all who supported our work both by attending in flesh and spirit and for those who also attuned.. Isis is for All!

Rev. Mana Youngbear H.P. Temple of the Muse of Isis Willits California,
as well as the Isian Society for Integrated Studies Lyceum. Hail Isis!
Isian Society For Integrated Studies

Goddess of the Moon
A Meditation Report by Máire Doyle

I walked along a narrow lane with silvery mist swirling all around. My breath formed shapes in front of my face. High above, a full silvery moon lit up everything around me and I sensed of other-worldly forms drifting around me. My senses were heightened and I heard the Lady Luna call my name. I seemed to levitate. Slowly I rose, up and up towards the Moon. My Heart felt full to overflowing and I was embraced by the energy emitted from her loving embrace.

From the corner of my eye I noticed something shining and turning, I beheld a small altar. Everything was enveloped in a silvery white shroud and the altar was adorned with a glittering cloth of silver. I stood in front of the altar and raised my arms, giving praise to the Goddess. On the cloth stood a golden chalice and inside was a fiery red liquid. I lifted the chalice and drank deeply from it. It coursed through my Being, uplifting and energising me.

As if by magic the Goddess stood in front of me, arms outstretched. Her long silver hair flowed around her shoulders and was covered by a veil of gossamer. What beauty, such gentleness and yet such power. As she looked at me, her lips moving in an almost silent whisper, I experienced her words. She spoke of the Light of the World, in the Cosmos, in each and every one of her children. Her great desire is that all will recognise the Divine within. Suddenly she stared to fade, yet she faded into me and I knew I had been given a task, to help others to become aware of their own Divinity.

Suddenly I began to shiver and realised I was back in the lane, staring up at the Moon. My body felt cold, but inside I still felt the effects of the red fiery liquid and the words of the Goddess filled me with strength.

Taking to my heel I began to run, filled with a sense of great expectation.

Máire Doyle

 "Flash of Isis" by Olivia Robertson

Vision of the Goddess

by Linda Iles
Archdruidess, Archpriestess, Hierophant

“An account of a full apparition of the Goddess, seen by a Priestess in Isis Oasis.” - Rt. Rev. Olivia Robertson, FOI Co-Founder

FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson had originally asked that a full account of this vision be posted in Isian News. Now at last, although several years later, her wish will be fulfilled.

When I first told Olivia about the vision on the morning of October 12, 2005, she became very excited. She said it was a full apparition of the Goddess, the only one reported to her that year during her visit to the USA. "What is meant by full apparition?" I asked at that time. She replied, "Your experience incorporated heart, mind and spirit with bodily senses - sight, hearing, scent."

The Vision

“On Tuesday evening, October 11, 2005, I settled into my bed at the Nesu House at Isis Oasis.

The annual Convocation had come to an end the day before. Very early the next morning, deTraci and I were to drive Olivia from Geyserville to the San Francisco International Airport. From there we would begin our journey home to Southern California.

I thought I was tired, but after lying down, suddenly, instead of being sleepy, I felt vibrantly alive. A sun disc glowing orange-gold appeared, and settled upon the top of my head. 

Energy shot from my crown chakra downwards into my heart. A white lotus opened in my crown, and a red rose opened in my heart. Then a Goddess appeared, all dressed in white, with a white veil. Her heart chakra was open and looked like a flower of many, many petals. Colored light radiated from the flower of her heart, turquoise, magenta and gold. It spread out, color by color and enveloped me in what can only be described as profound and fragrant sweetness. And I heard a long, high, beautiful note, as though a crystal had been struck like a chime.”

After she returned home from her USA tour that year, Olivia sent the original art, which is featured above, colored with the turquoise, magenta and gold of my vision. She wrote: "I want you to have this. I drew it for you." 

Muses Symposium - Articles and Poetry by Members

Three Poetic Offerings By David de Roeck:

Keeper of Thy Peace
A little time to think.

The Lord to the Limit speaks
Before those who still the storm, at the sailing of the entourage
Proceed in peace.

Atum creates the Cosmic mind.
The Cosmic mind creates the Cosmos.
The Cosmos creates Time.
Time creates Change.
I made the four winds that every man might breathe in his place.
I made the great inundation, that the wretched should have power over it like the great.
I made every man like his fellow;
I did not ordain them to do evil; it was their own hearts, which destroyed that which I pronounced.
To those who are Temporal guide those who are not.

Let no stranger anywhere have knowledge of this.  Do not speak about it to any man.  Do not repeat it.  Let no [other] eye see it.  Let no [other] ear hear it.  Let no one see it except [thyself] and him who taught [it to thee].  Let not the multitude [know of it] except thyself and thy beloved friend of thy heart.  Thou shalt do this in a chamber on a cloth painted with the stars in colour all over it.  It is indeed a mystery.

This is part of a mystery coming of Being as you read it feel the words let each syllable wrap around you like gossamer.  Let each sentence cleanse you like a mountain waterfall, let your being rise forth like warm summer air, Now breath and hold that moment between your heart beat and journey forth.  Please post what you feel and how you get on all words are part of the great knowledge.

Blessings David de Roeck

A Kiss to Be Home

The coolness of your kiss steals breath from my lips;
The beauty of your form fills my heart with desire;
When standing before you my knees grow weak;
As I lay with you in the magnificence of all;
If mine eyes are darkened to never see again;
This once this love this joy will feed me till I rest;
Where ere I go on your rondure I cannot compare;
For your beauty and kiss makes my soul take flight;
As form perfection in every crease in all the lines;
In shadowed valleys deep with moss;
All dessert sands leap from dunes eclipse;
Or velvet night lay on mountains high;
This globe I love this mothers embrace;
Silently we dance whirling long after I sleep;
My corpus form is gifted back to whence it came;
Thou art truly mother earth my love my sphere my home;

By David de Roeck

Photo of Olivia Robertson by David de Roeck
Please do not reproduce.

The Red Silk Coat

I did spy a candle bright shining forth one starry night;
Twas not the flame that caught my eye but words so pure to light the sky;
Like a comets tail on purple night translucent fears just out of sight;
When hollowed heart for some great loss a swirling mind that’s full with dross;
All things so said and so were done counting costs to see who’s won;
So as the abacus clacks away naught is naught to end the day;
As if the road was lost from sight not landscape sure as a gardeners plight;
With one who struggles for feet on ground listening for an ethereal sound?
And portals lead through temple door to a sacred space on yonder shore;
The wisdom spoke in gentle phrase that resonate through darkened haze;
It moved so swift with sound so clear when touched by light the loss of fear;
As a piper leads the lament away down leafy avenue at midday;
Through mystic trees in circles round all crunching steps in silent sound;
To all the thoughts that do take flight This Blessed Soul is ever Light.

By David de Roeck

The Test of Bastet

This was a prostration to be initiated into the first shrine temple of Bastet from Upper Egypt “Boaz”. 

“Blessed Oh thou Bastet, patron of the Woman within Women, know me by my utterances that my spells are true.  This is my voice in the expanse of the Duat. Thy protector is the Star-God thy soul passeth on, thy body is equipped with powers.  The doors of the hidden land are opened before thee Osiris, conqueror of millions of years, cometh unto thee.  I stand before the masters who bore witness to zep-tepi, who were the authors of their own forms, who walked the dark, circuitous passages of their own becoming.  I stand before the masters who witnessed the transformation of the body of a man into the body in spirit.  Who were witnessed to the resurrection when the corpse of Osiris entered the mountain, and the soul of Osiris walked out shining when he came forth from death, a shining thing, his face white with heat.  I stand before the masters who know the histories of the dead, who decide which tales to hear again, who judge the books of lives as either full or empty, who are themselves authors of truth.  They are Isis and Osiris, the divine intelligences and when the story is written and the end is good and the soul of a man is perfected, with a shout they lift him into heaven, bid me entrance within thee”.

Although there are a few male references within the text take careful note of the feelings of the words the intent and expression are without doubt feminine. Consolidating the point that the term master to the Egyptians was like the term King did not refer to a gender but a position of authority thus a female could be King or master.  Also pay note to absence of Bastet yet this was the first stage to enter and to be initiated into the temple of Bastet, so we can glean that it was a test of devotion to whether the quester would ask of the priesthood or just blindly follow. Again note the feelings at certain points, read over them a few times and see if you get the same feelings and journey on that.  For we are all temporal beings, some are old souls, some are younger souls.  Some carry a burden that is not theirs to carry yet they do so anyway, others refuse to see that which is the very waters they try to navigate.  Some who see have no vision, some of vision are unwilling to see, But to experience the vision you do not have to see just remember what is in your heart will be in your mind and thus come from your tongue.  So the more you allow yourself to journey the more you will expand your sense of being.  Our life is but a journey our spirit is on that journey, as we enter and egress through many doors and portals they all have one thing in common that is you.  You are equal unto all others when you stand to be counted you will number more than One, for you and all that comes with you is in me as I am in you we are all thoughts in the cosmic mind be true to your heart.

Blessings to one and all.

David de Roeck 

The Star of Ishtar and Gaia – An Introduction and the Myth of Creation
By Bruno Pythio
Iseum Rosa de Gaia and Mahina Lyceum

The diagram of the Star, also known as “The Star of Ishtar and the web of the universe and the Tiamat Dragon around the Divine Matrix Diagram” is one of the most important symbols in the Fellowship of Isis liturgy. Its references to the universal energy of creation, life, death and transformation are deep and complex. It is also the Goddess dynamic’s pattern, made through spontaneous thought, divine inspiration and as a sign of something much more intrinsic than what we can realize at first sight. This diagram is the core of FOI’s liturgy and it’s full of mystery and power.

Before continuing this article I have to give thanks to Matthew Bearden in the first place, as a sponsor and friend, he guided me through so many paths during these couple of years, I’ve grown so much under his wings and I’m blessed for having someone so special and kind in my life, his personal article of the Star of Ishtar and Qabalah inspired me to write my own article and, like a beacon, he showed me the way to follow and where to start and still helps me on my hierophancy path. I also want to thanks Linda Iles, her article and her help made everything so much clearer to me. Thank you all.

I decided to connect the Star of Ishtar and the myth of creation as known by the ancient Greeks in order to honor my bonds with Gaia, to go deep into Her Myth and energy and to have (or trying to have) a spiritual epiphany around us, human beings and the Divine. As I always honored Gaia through my body and my self, I thought it would be wonderful to create a link between the human body, the Planet Earth and the Deity. The Diagram is a complete and powerful way to realize both, divine and human nature, as the hermetic law says the “As above, so below” I decided to see the Star Of Ishtar as a way to understand creation and as a path to re-connect ourselves to this Divine Energy. In this article I will first start by  working from within the Star, the point that I decided to call “Nada”, the big zero, beyond human understanding, and then follow the path outwards until rite number 1 as the creation of everything comes forth, takes form to the point of humanity. As Linda says “The ankh represents the emanation of life from this Divine womb and the numbered rituals around the spiral show both the path of return to Her and the Path of emergence from Her.” So, the second way is to follow the path inwards, as we, humans search for connection and understanding.

For that matter Olivia said “Eight is the special number of the Fellowship. The Star of Ishtar has eight rays, the year has eight main festivals, it is the sign of eternity, of magic – the two loops signifying higher and lower awareness, the world above and the world below experienced as one.” And also, Linda in her article writes that “the rays of the Star of Ishtar total to eight, which is a uniquely feminine number because it corresponds to the sum of the terminals of the XX of feminine chromosomes. The spiraled coils of Tiamat symbolize the concept of the Fibonacci numbers – the perfect and divine proportion which is expressed throughout nature.”

Not only the human body and divine creation is expressed through the Star, but all that is manifested and in some way rules our plan, like time, space and life itself can be understood by this diagram. It expresses the former order or manifestation, as the Goddess utters the words of transformation on and on. Time is represented by the rays of the Star, and space is the coiled Dragon. I soon interpreted that as the act of manifestation. Not only earthly manifestation, but all the forms of creation, since time and space are rules of divine nature, not only time and space as we know it, but as ways of Divine expression - like a blank page - on which the Goddess can express Herself. This is one more reason to believe that those rites stimulate psychic perception and spiritual illumination.

This point of view is also made clear in Linda’s article when she writes about the four levels of the Star: Physical – Alma Mater, Astral or psychic – Flamma Vestae, Spiritual – Porta Mystica and Divine – Dulce Domum. One of the things that impressed me the most was the connection between the colors of the levels, it starts with violet and grows until violet again, showing that the beginning and the end are divine, human and deities alike, are both divine creation. In order of polarity Linda writes “The God manifests in the Outer Arcanum as attributes that are visible in the physical world. The Goddess represents the Inner mysteries or knowledge.” Our divine legacy is also expressed in “Panthea, Initiation and Festival of the Goddess” when Olivia writes “And we, children of the Mother of all beings, are therefore as immortal as She. For the Mother is expressed throughout Her offspring.

Gaia is expressed through this diagram, not only in human beings, but in all perfect creation, as Linda beautifully writes “The coils of Tiamat on the star of Ishtar echo the Spiral forms that often appear in nature […] The coils of Tiamat are representative of the divine proportions of creation found in all forms of spirals, including the cosmic spirals of galaxies and the spiraling helix of our own DNA.” And in Nuit of the Milky way “The lesser reflects the greater. There is divinity in all that is”. There’s some connection between the colors of the rays and the body’s chakras, it’s a way of illustrating how the human body reflects a greater logic.

Theogony – Creation. Gaia and the Star of Ishtar

“This is a story about Gaia, but as She is many, plenty, this also will be a tale about Her forms, Rhea, Hera, Zeus, Chronus and Uranus. They can be deities, but they can also be forces of creation. This will be a myth about how human beings can find the divine within as the Divine Mother finds her expression into the human world, just like the star of Ishtar can spiral inwards and outwards.”
The myth used as a base story to this analysis was the text Orphica, Theogonies Fragment 54 (From Damascius) and found on :

"Originally there was Hydros (Water), he [Orpheus] says, and Mud, from which Ge (the Earth) solidified: he posits these two as first principles, water and earth . . . The one before the two [Thesis], however, he leaves unexpressed, his very silence being an intimation of its ineffable nature. The third principle after the two was engendered by these--Ge (Earth) and Hydros (Water), that is--and was a Serpent (Drakon) with extra heads growing upon it of a bull and a lion, and a god’s countenance in the middle; it had wings upon its shoulders, and its name was Khronos (Unaging Time) and also Herakles. United with it was Ananke (Inevitability, Compulsion) , being of the same nature, or Adrastea, incorporeal, her arms extended throughout the universe and touching its extremities. I think this stands for the third principle, occupying the place of essence, only he [Orpheus] made it bisexual [as Phanes] to symbolize the universal generative cause. And I assume that the theology of the [Orphic] Rhapsodies discarded the two first principles (together with the one before the two, that was left unspoken) [that is, the Orphics discarded the concepts of Thesis, Khronos and Ananke], and began from this third principle [Phanes] after the two, because this was the first that was expressible and acceptable to human ears. For this is the great Khronos (Unaging Time) that we found in it [the Rhapsodies], the father of Aither and Khaos. Indeed, in this theology too [the Hieronyman], this Khronos (Time), the serpent has offspring, three in number: moist Aither (Light) (I quote), unbounded Khaos (Air), and as a third, misty Erebos (Darkness) . . . Among these, he says, Khronos (Time) generated an egg--this tradition too making it generated by Khronos, and born ‘among’ these because it is from these that the third Intelligible triad is produced [Protogonos-Phanes]. What is this triad, then? The egg; the dyad of the two natures inside it (male and female) [Ouranos, heaven, and Gaia, earth], and the plurality of the various seeds between; and thirdly an incorporeal god with golden wings on his shoulders, bulls’ heads growing upon his flanks, and on his head a monstrous serpent, presenting the appearance of all kinds of animal forms . . . And the third god of the third triad this theology too celebrates as Protogonos (First-Born) [Phanes], and it calls him Zeus the order of all and of the whole world, wherefore he is also called Pan (All). So much this second genealogy supplies concerning the Intelligible principles."

I based this article on the myth of Theogony and also on my personal experience with Gaia, and as an Oracle Goddess I had the Tarot cards supporting me during my wonders and thoughts. The way this was built made a beautiful piece of art, as I took one card to understand each rite and each step of creation, to help me with an unique point of view, inspired by Goddess Herself,  which is the work of a hierophant. The deck that I used was “The Goddess Tarot” by Kris Waldherr. This article has enormous references to Matthew Bearden’s article about the FOI liturgy and Qabalah, it may be found in the online magazine “The Mirror of Isis”.

The rite’s sequence was:

- Mystical Initiation (Conferred by direct Communion with Deity) – “Nada” the Big Zero, oracle Card: Princess of pentacles (knight of pentacles).

- Mystical awakening of Aquarius and Juno – Khaos/Hydros, oracle card: The Hermit.

- Mystical awakening of Capricorn and Terra – Ge/Cosmic Mud, oracle card: Queen of Swords.

- Mystical awakening of Sagittarius and Brynhild – Ananke, oracle card: 2 of swords.

- Mystical awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini – Kronus, oracle card: 9 of pentacles.

- Mystical awakening of Libra and Kwan Yin – The Cosmic Egg, oracle card: The Empress.

- Mystical awakening of Virgo and Dana – Gaia, oracle card: 2 of Wands.

1. Mystical Initiation (Conferred by direct Communion with Deity) – “Nada” the Big Zero, oracle Card: Princess of pentacles (knight of pentacles).

This is a rite surrounded by mystery, as well as the stage of creation that it’s related to, the “Nada”, this big zero is not to say that it is meaningless, it’s quite the opposite, it means that this is everything, to number it is to split it, to separate it from all, so Zero means the mystery, it’s the “taking a chance on life”, personal and powerful. The princess of pentacles suggests “That bountiful, generous forces now surround us. It symbolizes a need to enjoy the pleasures of the material world […] all you need to do is to prepare the ground for your flowering.” Isn’t that beautiful? To prepare the ground to create new life, the whole potency of generating all that is, it’s simply amazing!

As Matthew wrote in his article, here is the beginning and the ending, as connected to the Sphere of Daath: “This sphere has also the function of filtering out energy that could be too much for us to withstand.”

2. Mystical awakening of Aquarius and Juno – Khaos/Hydros, oracle card: The Hermit.

Hydros is the cradle of life, is the primordial sea of creation and fertility, is the unformed energy, full of potential but with no direction (yet), The Hermit Card suggests a need of contemplation, a distance from the previous state (“Nada”) to understand better the questions of life. The Qabalistic association suggested by Matthew’s article is The Star, hope and direction. When both cards are analyzed together, a question of understanding and creation can be fully comprehended, The Hermit show us the need of a new way, reflection and thought, taking some distance over what has been so far, thus the star is this direction, is the pole star, Isis, Juno, is this hope of new beginnings.

As we can read in the rite “In the beginning the creatures of earth dwell encrusted, homebound in primaeval slime. The Embryo in the womb is thus: secure and still.” The womb is full of water, just like Hydros, but the embryo holds still, no movement… The Hermit, shown in the Goddess Tarot as “Contemplation” is illustrated in this part of the Rite’s Oracle “…and they long to transcend the Galaxy Herself, and see Her as a coiled serpent, like her sister Andromeda. They dream of seeing the mega universe as a mighty Dragon, Inanna, and of watching stars and galaxies consumed by vortices of darkness, to be re-born to greater life.”

Here the first idea of a pattern is seen, it’s the start of a new creation “Look into a well and you will see a black hole in space. See the sparkle of a little water-fall and you will appreciate a galaxy. Enjoy birds singing and you will be listening to the music of the spheres!” as the oracle continues.

So on, continuing the rite, during the invocation to Juno, She is shown as a Goddess, creatrix of all life forms, mother of showers and winds (Hydros and Khaos): “… Mother of showers and winds, from thee alone, producing all things, mortal life is known; All nature shows Thy temperament divine, and universal sway alone in Thine. With sounding blasts of wind, the swelling sea and rolling rivers roar when shook by Thee.” It’s the idea of macrocosm and microcosm.

3. Mystical awakening of Capricorn and Terra – Ge/Cosmic Mud, oracle card: Queen of Swords.

Here’s the second stage of Creation, when two become one again, Ge is the cosmic mud, the fertile ground on which life form will be generated. I like the symbolism of this rite connected with this stage of life, Capricorn is a creature half fish, half animal, just like the mud is half water, half earth. And this rite is fully connected with an Earth Deity, Terra (earth, in Latin and Portuguese). The oracle card given to this rite was the Queen of Swords, “Strong and brilliant, a woman who pushes us to live by the standards of gaining wisdom by experience. It’s time to create new experiences.

The rite’s invocation starts like this “Holy Mother… all creatures that fly and run and swim are under Thy sway. The sacred elements of earth form thy body and thy mighty aura encompasses us as a protective veil”. This part of creation is the start of physical creation, it’s now when things start to be born to generate a new world. And the oracle continues, giving us advice to search Her wisdom, Her creative energy is found within “The first quest to be undertaken by the seeker is not without but within my being.” It’s a need to understand this stage of creation, and find it within ourselves.

This part of creation is also connected with nutrition, since the mud is full of nutrients and feeds all life, “The goat-nymph Amalthea of Capricorn fed Jupiter with her milk and it was her lost horn that became the ‘cornu Amaltheae’, the cornucopia flowing with the food of the deities, nectar and ambrosia”, and again during the invocation of Gaea “Eldest of all beings. She feedeth all creatures that are in the world…”

As the last most important aspect of this stage of life, creativity comes to show its powers. “Propitious Terra and Ceres, Mothers of the Corn, bless these seeds which are to be committed to the black earth. For Thou, Ceres, lendest to the corn its vital force, and Thou, Terra, lendest it room. O grant Onto Thy tender seeds unbroken increase. When we sow, let the sky be cloudless and the winds blow fair: but when the seed is buried, then sprinkle it with water from the sky. May the farms yield, with manifold interest, crops of wheat and barley.” And the fantastic answer to Tom in the Tale "So people fancy", said Mother Carey. "But I never trouble myself to make things. I sit here and make them make themselves".

The aspect of transformation of this part of creation is beautifully described in the rite as follows “Know that She who turns fishes into beasts and into Men, Mother Cary, is the Norse Goddess of the Sea, Goda, from Whom comes the Name of God. She rides naked upon a goat and holds a fish net in one hand and an apple in the other. She is accompanied by a Hare and a Raven. The Saxons called Her Gode, and Godiva.”

4. Mystical awakening of Sagittarius and Brynhild – Ananke, oracle card: 2 of swords.
Now it’s the time of Sagittarius, half animal and half man, and evolution taking under the last one. The oracle card is the two of swords “Transitory quality of peace, confront.” As things must be taken out of the comfort zone to evolve, this rite is about the inevitable, and who’s better to describe this energy than Ananke? She is the need, the necessity, and this rite is described by Matthew Bearden on his article by having an association with the card The Chariot, Binah-Geburah, “The hall of carma”, again, the inevitable.

During the invocation we can have an idea of what this energy of confront is: “Bring us the energy to fight for a good cause!” and the Oracle says: “And when a cause is wrongly undertaken is armed by auras of fire and spears of light, disaster is inevitable.” And the two of swords presents itself: “For man is neither entirely animal nor god: so he feels torn in two.”

This is a stage in creation where things are coming to an inevitable direction, to generate more things, but it’s not possible to create something of its own, it must have a polarity balance, so Kronus was created as well, this part of the rite illustrate this stage “But lo, the hero Sigurd discovered Her there, guided by a magical bird. And He awakened Her and They remembered their lost love when They dwelt together in heaven as Sieglinda and Siegmund, the Starry Twins. But the doom of Asgard was upon the earth and no earthly marriage could be theirs. Brynhild assumed Her head-dress of glory, Her Spear of Light. She summoned Her white winged horse. And upon Her horse she entered the flames that roared from the underworld into the sky. And they ascended into the heavens. And, as was Her right, she brought with Her Sigurd, Her Consort, and the souls of all whose bodies had perished in the flames of earth. And the flames subsided as the waters of the oceans rose and covered the land.”

The nature of Ananke (Inevitability) and Kronus (Time) is also shown here “At that time earth will rise out of the sea and be green and fair, and fields of corn will grow that were never sown and two human beings will escape the destruction.” And also here “We have recalled the rise and fall of suns and planets, and of all who dwell on the earth. We have told of the transmutation of Brynhild as She passed through the ordeal of the elements, until She had rescued those who suffered, and regained Her Divinity.”

5. Mystical awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini – Kronus, oracle card: 9 of pentacles.

This is the counterpart of this part of creation, Kronus and Ananke are usually seen as one moment, but the feminine energy divided Herself into Ananke (first) and Kronus. So, now both can generate life and create form at this stage. Until now we’ve seen the creation from Pure divine energy unfolding itself into manifestation, several steps were taken respecting the universal laws. Now it’s the time of Gender and Polarity. United both can create life, and the oracle card shows it very well, the nine of pentacles is the period of fertility and luxury, a great satisfaction.

The Qabalistic association is with The Magician and again, its complementary, showing the relevance of this observation and study. Matthew wrote “The first step on the way to form […] The letter of this path is beth, which means “House”, a house is a form of restriction (I say that time is the first form of restriction, Kronus = Time, He is the Unaging time, just to add value to this sentence) of a part of the world.

The invocation goes on to illustrate “For without thee we are as lifeless shadows astray in this land of delusions, entangled in dead thoughts, stale emotions, sucked of energies by debilitating forces which we cannot control.” And the oracle connects itself to Kronus “For my fire either creates or it destroys.” As time acts in general.

Again an illusion to time is made: “For though the mysteries are preserved through silence, we must offer ourselves and all we have to the Goddess, that we may be reborn with knowledge of our immortality.” Again, to go back to the “Nada” we must comprehend that time is also an illusion. Another beautiful part of the rite connecting creation with time “Within the fiery cosmic wheel Thou doth enact the dance of Creation.”

An analogy to initiation (From latin “Initio”, beginning), the alliance of Ananke and Kronus “Companions, harken to the story of Isis and the mother and her child. Isis was seeking for the body of Her slain husband the God Osiris, and She came to the city of Byblos. She was discovered by the royal handmaidens as She sat by a well. Isis braided their hair, breathing a heavenly perfume upon them from Her Divine Body. Queen Astarte of Byblos smelt this perfume and took Isis to Her within the palace, to be nurse to her child. Now Isis discovered that the body of Osiris, unknown to the King and Queen, was concealed within a tree pillar of the palace. At night in the form of a swallow, She was wont to flutter around the pillar of the palace, twittering mournfully.

[...] Now Isis loved the baby boy entrusted to Her and She decided to confer upon him the gift of Immortality. So every night when all slept, She used to hold the child over the fire in the hearth. But one night Queen Astarte discovered Isis placing her baby on the fire, and she seized him and clasped him to her and bitterly upbraided her nurse. Whereupon Isis revealed Herself in Her Divine Being and gave Her Name. And She said unto the Queen: "Wretched woman, if Thou hadst let me I would have made thy son immortal! As it is, he shall be as other men and I must leave him." When King Malcandre heard of this he understood the mystery of the swallow and the pillar, and he gave Isis the Tamarisk tree which contained the coffin of Osiris.” And this is explained by the following part “In celebration of the sacred Marriage of the Opposites, the Initiation of Fire and Water which takes place in the House of Scorpio, let us perform the Dance of the Azure Dragon!”

6. Mystical awakening of Libra and Kwan Yin – The Cosmic Egg, oracle card: The Empress.

Now it’s the time of balance again, as the wheel turns, we walked from Khaos to potency of life, inevitability and time to come to this moment of Balance, Harmony, Libra, the Cosmic Egg full of life itself and holding Gaia and Uranus on its body, heaven and earth. The oracle card of this rite and moment of creation is The Empress, fertility and “feelings of abundance as well as renewed interest in sensuality” the pleasure, the connection between energies. The Qabalistic card to this path is the Hanged man, the sacrifice. To sacrifice is to become sacred, and this path in Qabalah is Geburah-hod and “sometimes symbolized by water” and water again is a symbol of fertility, just like the egg. And two become one again.

This is the part of manifestation and as the Oracle says “Every true thought and desire creates its own manifestation. Smile and you give birth to happiness in some time and some place.” So now it’s the manifestation of an idea, a dream formed in the beginning of time, a need of transforming and evolving.

As manifestation goes on, the oracle continues “Artists painting pictures shall create their visions in living forms. Composers shall bring harmony…” and this happens when there’s perfect balance: “Know that in many ancient lands the constellation of libra, when in the house of the Autumnal equinox, was revered as portraying justice, through the equal balancing of day and night, summer and winter.” And “Justice however, not only reveals the truth, but also sees that the law is maintained on earth.”

The Cosmic egg is the source of “life on earth” the one source of life “I speak the words of the sage, and lay it upon your hearts – how the Gods and mortal men sprang from one source!”

7. Mystical awakening of Virgo and Dana – Gaia, oracle card: 2 of Wands.
As the Egg cracks, it’s time to be separated again; the inside is Gaia, the womb, earth and Mother. The outside is Uranus, the father. Like Ananke and Kronus, those two will create life with their union, but at first, Gaia came to be. This is once more, an earthly rite, with an earthly sign and an earthly Deity. Virgo and Dana, some sort of organization comes from Virgo and Dana, the Great Mother of the Tuatha De Dannan is fertile and breaths abundance. The Oracle card for this step of creation is the two of wands, and I could not think of one better. The two of wands, fire, spirit, energy is “the concrete beginning of a new venture, a dynamic partnership that will fulfill us”, I can’t help but think that this is related to Gaia and Uranus, so it’s perfect. Matthew said something really beautiful about this rite and path (Kether-Tifareth), “Then the soul is prepared for the second birth” and this is the second time that Gaia takes form, the first one was Ge, and now Gaia and She will come back again.

As mother, Gaia is related to Dana and the invocation says: “Dana, star Goddess of Atlantis, Mother of the Gods and Goddesses of Ireland, inspiring the magical arts and bestowing bounty throughout the whole earth, we invoke Thy Aid.” And the Goddess replies “…Through the present come to Me! For the present is your gate to heaven” this shows that the time and space are already established and She is the moment of now.

As the essence of life and energy, all the Gods are in some level Her Children and in some other level, the sign of an ancient and natural energy as we can see here: “know that the Gods and Goddesses of Ireland, Sons and Daughters of the Goddess Dana, journeyed to Ireland in ancient times. Among these Deities were the Goddesses Brighid, the Poetess, Morrigan the Enchantress, Airmid the Healer, Badbh, Bestower of Abundance, Fleachta the Druidess, and Eire the Generous. The Gods had amongst them Manannan of the Sea, Oengus, Bringer of Love, Cairbre the Poet, loarbonel the prophet, Giobnu the Great Smith and Luchne, maker of The Roarer, the Wheel of Manannan. Hear of Their descent, as recorded in "The Lebor Gabala Erenn!" 'They came without vessels or barks, in dark clouds over the air, by the might of Druidry.”

Gaia is the plenty, abundant and prosperous, She is the one who gives birth to all creation upon earth and also nourishes us, food, whether spiritual or material comes through Her sacred body, “The great Cauldron of Plenty they carried from Murias: no company would go from that cauldron unsatisfied!” and also: “I offer incense to the Goddess Dana. She sitteth upon the stone of Destiny that is the earth, and in Her Left Hand is a sheaf of wheat which she taketh from Her Cauldron of Plenty, that Her Son the God Dagda and those who follow Him may feed all creatures upon the earth.”

Making and allusion for creation, as the hermetic rules, the whole creation is mental, and in this rite we can see something related to that: “Wind, the earth is sick from silence. Though we possess light and colour and fruit, yet We have no music. We must bestow music upon all creation! To the awakening dawn, to the dreaming man, to the waiting mother, to the passing water and the flying bird, life should be all music! Go, Quetzalcoatl, through the boundless sadness between the blue smoke and the spaces to the High House of the Sun. There, the bright sun is surrounded by makers of music who blow their flutes sweetly and with their burning choir, scatter light abroad. Go, bring back to earth a cluster - the most flowering - of those musicians and singers."

Later in the rite we can see a reference to all the major powers of Gaia: Food/Abundance; prophecy; mystery; faith; transformation and immanence. “I hail the Guardians of the White-flushed Star Spica, the Ear of Wheat. Let the truth planted in our souls grow through understanding to Wisdom!
I hail the two white stars, Antevorta and Postvorta, stars of the two Goddesses of Prophecy. By foreseeing the future may we direct our lives with wisdom.

I hail the Guardians of Zaniah, Heaven's Gate. May we find the Gate of Heaven and enter therein.

I hail the Guardians of the pale yellow Star Zavijava, Kennel of the Hounds. Give us strength and loyalty to follow Deity.

I hail the Guardians of the bright yellow star Vindemiatrix, the Grape-Gatherer, Star of Vintage. May we transmute adversity into the wine of experience.

I hail the Guardians of Syrma, star on the Virgin's Robe. Let us have humility when we wonder at many stars.”