Brigantia 2005 Isian News - Issue 115
Reflections by: Olivia Robertson
IMAGE & TRUTH
Notes of Olivia Robertson
At this beginning of a new aeon and a new year I pondered and delayed long in writing an account that truly represented my appreciation, enjoyment and discoveries during my stay in seven states in the USA. But any effort lead to the realization that I was capable of producing a Parish Magazine: “we thank Mrs. Blennerhasset for her delicious home-made gateaus, and express our gratitude to our new curate, Mr. Simpkins, for his delightful rendering of “Rule Britannia” on the harmonium,” etc., etc. Each person and event are meticulously mentioned, even with praise for the weather. “the rain held off for twenty minutes at our choir practice under the rose pergola.” Of course in the USA the sun might be thanked for closing his/her eyes for twenty minutes.
Luckily splendid articles describing the events have been given in an interesting manner in our members’ magazine “Isis-Seshat”, published by Eleusis of Chicago. I hope we get later reports from New Orleans, Florida, New York State, Sedona and Phoenix. As my task has been performed far better than I can, what I do is be myself! I did produce an hilarious playlet I wrote about Life in the Castle in the late “thirties” – but one friend expressed the thought that “it might do harm to your IMAGE.”
Alas for us of the New Age. We cannot as in the past Patriarchy admit to being miserable sinners, sick and frail and possibly terminally ill. In the past, the more deprived, the more poor, foolish and frail, the more were we useful prey to those who were ready to SAVE US. No. The terrible New Age IMAGE for us, especially therapists, spiritual gurus and leaders, is simply to be PERFECT. Otherwise obviously our spiritual course, our alternative treatment, would not be worth the fees that can be charged – and should be, if we can make the clients as beautiful, slim, radiant, caring and healthy as New Agers must be. The photos show such practitioners as fascinating, slender, always smiling showing gleaming teeth, successful, prosperous and Spiritually advanced. They follow the Light, the Right-hand Path, and have frequent conversations with Angels. These angels are not Elemental Beings but deceased Loved Ones, a substitute for the anti-orthodox “Gods and Goddesses” who are suspect. I notice poor Venus has never been used to my knowledge by her Name. She is called Hathor or Diana or Mother Theresa. It is that Image again. Why don’t doctors portray themselves like this? The only way you can get away with being obese or toothless, or disabled is to present yourself as The Crone, replete with Ancient Wisdom gained from your grandmother. The one obvious benefit you can offer (if over 70) for fees is longevity. You are still around. Though I myself was declared dead on the global Internet for quite a bit last Spring. But then I can claim a sort of resurrection. I may have BEEN dead for all you know. . .
All right. Here are the entertaining, tearful, funny bits I will share. To begin with, it is de rigueur to have North American relatives. I lacked these, which deprived me of sweat lodges, innate knowledge of nature, and an audience of benighted Westerners lacking these virtues; but guilty of stealing My Country.
All is changed. I think I can claim beyond doubt that I have the most remarkable North American Indian relatives that anyone has. Why? Because, owing to some disagreement with the white establishment over burial – all my relatives, the Robinsons of Chicago, have turned into red deer. True. I have seen them. Any of you can, if you take a trip to the most haunted graveyard in Chicago, where descendents of Alexander Robinson – Chief Chee-Chee-Pin-Quay - beat their drums, as heard by visitors. The deer are red, of course. (Robertson/Robinson – “Rua”, red, in Gaelic.) Their lovely white sporans are just on their other side. So, with Deena Butta, I paid respects with an Indian ceremony that I felt entitled to perform. Apparently, my relatives object to invading foreigners plagiarising their rituals for profit. Deena and I knew what to do correctly.
That was a cheerful tale – “The Deer Family Robinson.” In New Orleans I had the honour of blessing a paddle-steamer, the Magnolia-Belle, on New Orleans inland sea. She holds two hundred passengers. This was arranged by Cathryn Anne Rogers of New Orleans. Isis is long overdue for this acknowledgment, but when you think how ships were misused in transporting Africans to the Southern States, only now such a dedication to a loving African Goddess would be acceptable to Her. Isis is “Star of the Sea”, “Isis of Ships” and the cross-mast is Her emblem and the Pole Star Her gift to sailors.
Now for tears. Until I visited Alabama and Florida, I had no idea of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ivan. For about forty-eight miles and maybe thirty miles inland I saw mounds of debris and the blue rubber roofing the Government had provided to replace the damage wrought. Among the stories that most moved me was that of one of our priestesses near Pensacola who had lost everything – her house, belongings, and I gather no insurance. Yet she appeared at our FOI gathering in full robes. One of our priests, Edward Livingston, had looked after her robes and helped her with material for living, as she refused to leave her home, and slept in a tent. Edward runs a “pantry”, which helps homeless people, but was not expecting a hurricane of such disastrous proportions. So when I asked members to endorse my ordaining him as priest, from all over his temple members described what he had done to help his neighbours – whether FOI or not. I feel that is what Isis is all about.
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