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Fellowship of Isis key
This Fellowship of Isis website has been authorized by the FOI Foundation Center: Clonegal Castle, Enniscorthy, Eire

Update of High Altar at the Temple of Isis, Clonegal Castle
By: Olivia Robertson, January 2011

Our sincere thanks to the Most Rev. Minette Quick for providing the original audio recording of Olivia Robertson, and photo of the new High Altar. (transcription, conversion to MP3 audio files, and enhancement/detailed photos provided by this website.)

Updated High Altar
Updated High Altar
photo © M.Q.
(Click to view larger size)

Audio - Part I
Click on blue speaker icon below:

(Scroll down for Part II)

Play Part 1 Audio Part I Audio
(will open the player that you have designated on your computer for MP3 files)

Transcription of the words of Olivia Robertson:

"I'm delighted at the work I've done. I've spent hours working - daring - to change the High Altar. You see, when we started it, we wanted it - we were more orthodox - and we wanted a Virgin Mary by my nephew David, which he wanted to do with no clothes on. And we thought that Molly (who was, you know we did have staff in those days) would refuse to dust the place that had a nude Mary, so I suggested she be entirely robed in water. So this he allowed: the Aquarian Madonna. I wanted her Aquarian. On her head was a sun and a moon, as a watering pot. Still with the Marian idea of Aquarius, then she gradually became Isis.

Detail: Isis Statue
Carved Isis Statue
(Carved by David Durdin-Robertson)

"But I did notice that there was no poor old God anywhere near, and no other Goddesses, or her other aspects as being Divine Mother. We seem to have this negative attitude in some aspects of our Piscean age, against people having babies or having family life; we were all sort of holy monks and nuns and virgins. Now I happened to be like that myself, because I was rather electric-type person, you know, turned on with electricity-spiritual thing. I do know that the other is equally holy and wonderful. And so, just, I don't know why, but at the time of the Winter Solstice, I thought 'well, poor old God, he's nowhere around,' and then I looked at this Egyptian bath towel! I think it was - horrified David, I turned up with - I adored these Egyptian hangings I got from our Priestess, Helen, who sells this stuff from Egypt. And one I liked especially, was an attempt of the New Kingdom to reconcile themselves with Isis.

Detail: Egyptian Hanging
Detail: Egyptian Hanging

"So you have an Isis, got up as Cleopatra of Mut, the Vulture Goddess, who's made to peck her blood, to give it to her baby. And she's holding a nice new baby - it could be either sex, but obviously it's meant to be Horus, in this conciliating effort. Because, on one side on the left as you look at it, you see the Amon-Ra lot, who were called Set and things - a perfect reconciliation against duality. You have the God Amon-Ra, with the great feathers of Truth and Justice on his head and he's got on the other side (hang on, let's have a look), Mut, yes, so this is the Amon-Ra lot - the New Kingdom you know. Not the Delta, but higher up - the upper region. But on the other side, they very tactfully have our lot - the Isis lot: Tehuti, friend of Isis. And he's got the horns of Amon-Ra on his head, but also he is the God of Wisdom - Tehuti-Thoth. And that is the deepest of all the Western mysteries. And on the right you have a very mysterious Goddess, Nephthys. She is connected with the moon, with spiritual teachings and everything deep and occult.

Audio - Part II
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Play Part 2 Audio Part II Audio
(will open the player that you have designated on your computer for MP3 files)

"And so I looked at this, and I thought: 'wouldn't it be marvelous if it would fit.' Well, it was so long it fitted the whole length of the altar. And I put it there, and I knew that's where it belonged. Because when I'm making invocation, 'Holy Goddess, Mother of all Beings' - well, she has a watering pot on her head, but no other sign of any fertility anywhere near. So now you have her still the Divine Sophia, the Holy One of Divine Wisdom, the Holy Spirit - Goddess. But you also have her as a woman holding a baby, obviously with some dads around - 2 Gods and 2 Goddesses either side. So there we go - I hope you . . . I feel now I can make invocation more definitely because on the left you have the Goddess of Truth and Justice - Ma'at - with great outspread wings.

Detail: Ma'at Tapestry
Maat Tapestry
Left of High Altar

"And above the Akhenaten side, the Aten, which is not the sun, it's the inner light, Divine light, within All That Is, pouring out so nice little hands at the edge. You can put any religion off the end. And on the other, you have three Muses - a person playing the harp, a flute and a stringed instrument.

Detail: Three Muses Tapestry
3 Muses Tapestry
Right of High Altar

"So I had, then I thought, well we have an energetic God. Also, we have on the right of the altar as you look at it, we have something given by my friend, Noel, he made this for me - an actual pyramid. And in it, you can keep things. It's an ark.

Detail: Pyramid
Detail of original photo by N. Daly

"And below that you have a Pharaoh, wearing oddly enough the upper Egypt crown of Osiris, leaping around on a horse - at least he's happy on a horse - he looks like Osiris. On the left you have the Priestess's chair: Venetian, carved-wood, rather naked looking Cherub ladies, and the horned God of Greece - is Venetian I think, about 14th century - I like it.

Detail: Venetian Chair
Venetian Chair

"And behind you have Nefertiti, a marvelous head carved by my nephew. It's so thin, it's almost paper made of wood, of the Goddess. So on the left you have the Goddess-window looking right out on to Brigid, and on the right you have the God-window with this pyramid and an image of the God. And you have, I had the courage - incredible courage - to people's horror, painting on glass - well people have. So, there's an image of Osiris, and he's holding his son, the younger Horus. And on the left - the Goddessy-bit - you have Isis, holding the younger Hathor in her arms.

Details: Goddess & God Windows
Left Goddess Window      Right God Window
Left & Right of High Altar

"So, it's continuing - it's like a fractal. You come from the Greater, and that's the way the Egyptians saw things: the reconciliation of duality, whether man or woman, left or right, up or down, black or white - As Above So Below. But so poor old Below is Above!

"Anyhow, I've gone on and on, and does that explain things to you?"

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