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

Beltaine 2005 Isian News - Issue 116
Reflections by: Olivia Robertson

Click on the blue speaker icon to listen (mp3 / 7:35 min / 7 mb): Listen to this article
(Please note: When recording this, Olivia did not present the entire introduction that she originally wrote below, but substituted additional material.)
You may also listen to it on: YouTube


It has always struck me as curious that philosophers and clerics see creation as an act of a dominant God, creating life forms and other chemical beings as a potter makes – and breaks – his figurines, vessels, whatever he fancies according to his needs. We have here an on-going cycle of a God Who either likes or disapproves of His creations, whether great or small. In this mind-set we are totally subservient to our creator, as is a child’s Barbie doll or a clay teapot. The rift between creator and created is total. We grovel or fight, we deny or believe – it is all the same. We are powerless as much as an ant that we can crush with a boot.

Matriarchy brings us realization of facts. All organic beings are born from the Mother, whether from egg or womb. Love nourishes and cares for us. We are all children of the Great Mother. We are, along with crystals and stars, a part of Divinity, for we were born of Divinity.

(audio skips this section)

Last autumn I became aware of Indigo Children, a hopeful phenomenon of children who can alter their own DNA. We have a baby curing itself of AIDS! So my mind went coursing back through the years, recognising Starchildren. Here possibly is one of them.


Years ago – in 1975, before FOI was founded, my brother Lawrence, his wife Pamela and myself were awaiting the arrival of a young mother and her little boy – about three years old. They were on their way by sea to London. It was a lovely spring evening, and I picked primroses and plum blossom for their bedroom – the haunted Red Room – which, like most of our rooms in the Castle, had ghostly visitants! This room has a gentleman in a powdered wig, who inspects new visitors to see, presumably, if he dislikes them. I think he is my great-great-great grandfather…

The young mother and child – I will call them Kate and Don – sat at our dining room table, watched by moving eyes of family portraits. Kate told us hilarious stories about her London life, while Don solemnly drank from a huge mug of milk. We had had difficulty getting him up the stairs because he said he saw a man in a cap at the head of the stairs, holding a walking stick. We had seen no-one. His mother, embarrassed, commanded him to go up. So Don did, carefully walking round some invisible gentleman – possibly my departed father *** Pamela commented: “What he doesn’t see, his mother does ***.” Psychic Irish!

During our tea, my young nieces, Melian and Anna, burst in talking about plans to pick yarrow, their bare feet on dewy grass at dawn. Not at that time conversant with Celtic festivals, I took no notice.

Some time after Don had been put into the red-room four poster bed, Kate came down in a state of great amazement. “I went upstairs to tuck Don in”, she said, “but he told me that the Lady had already tucked him up. Then I looked towards the fireplace. It had been empty. But now a woman dressed as a nurse was lighting a fire. The flames shot up. I noticed she was wearing a swan brooch. Then she crossed the room and opened the window. Then she disappeared.” I asked what she had felt about the lady, and she said that both Don and herself liked her, and accepted her presence.

Next evening, after pleasant walks round the grounds, Kate put Don very early to rest in preparation for the night sea crossing. She brought him up a mug of milk and a banana at five o’clock – still broad daylight. Later she came rushing down the stairs with a strange tale to recount.

“When I came into the room with the tray,” she said, I went over to the mirror. When I looked round towards the bed where Don was asleep, I saw the Lady. This time it was daylight so I saw her distinctly. She stood by Don. And she lifted her finger to her lips. This time I was really taken aback. I gathered that I should not wake Don up.” Then she vanished.

It was only a fortnight later that I began to see meaning in these happenings. The gathering of yarrow by the girls was because it was Beltaine Eve. I looked up the mythology and this is what I found.

(audio resumes here)

The secret Mysteries of Isis were known to concern the story of Isis and the child. Isis, seeking for her lost husband Osiris, was discovered seated by a well by the daughters of the local King and Queen. They ran to their mother, Queen Astarte, who told them to bring the woman to her. This they did. The Queen told the strange woman whom she took for a homeless wanderer, that she had given birth to an heir to their kingdom, a little boy. She sought for a wet-nurse to suckle the baby. Isis, who had given birth to the God Horus, said that she could suckle the boy. So she was entrusted with the task.

Here we begin to scent a Mystery, for Isis was Mother to the Rising Sun, Horus, the transformed Ra, whom Isis had taken into her starry body of the night, and given birth to him at dawn. So she duly suckled the baby – but not with food. She gave him the essence of the hidden sun within her. And the child grew in strength, goodness and beauty.

But the Queen Astarte grew more and more suspicious of this transformation. So one night she hid herself to watch. To her horror, she saw the nurse light a supernatural fire with leaping flames. And she watched with terror as the nurse held the child within the flames. The Queen sprang forth with a cry and seized her child, tore him from the flames and held him to her. She accused the nurse of being an evil witch.

Here we have the actual words translated from the Mysteries. The supposed witch shot up to about eight feet high and revealed Herself as the Goddess Isis. And she uttered these words:

“Wretched woman, you have done harm beyond repair. If you had let me, I would have made your son as the Immortal Gods. But now he shall be as other men, and suffer and grow ill and die. But those who would aspire to win my Grace, I shall teach the Mysteries.”

And so were the Mysteries of Isis taught for thousands of years. And these gave place to the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece, where the same Myth was told, with Demeter as Isis, and the boy was named Demophoon, the Initiate.

I felt full of hope with this modern enactment of the Mysteries. The Egyptian and Greek mothers not only refused the initiation for their child, but actually accused the Goddess of being evil. But our modern Irish girl and her son, nurtured as Irish exiled in London, thoroughly enjoyed the supernatural! They naturally accepted what is our divine heritage: the acceptance of God The Mother of all that is.

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