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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

Written by: Tom Joseph Swinburne
Photos by: Katheriona Doyle
4th May 2019

The Fellowship of Isis Priesthood and a host of guests all gathered outside the coffee shop in the courtyard of Huntington Castle. We all came together to celebrate the Festival of Bealtaine. The beautiful weather generated an air of excitement as we huddled in groups waiting for our Presiding Priestess to call us to attention. Our good Lady dressed in radiant red and golden robes appeared and welcomed all. She invited those present to join her in procession to the Rose garden. We slowly walked, enjoying good company in near perfect weather, along the path to our first destination. In the garden our Presiding Priestess formed us into a circle and called on Rosa Mundi, the Rose of the World to join us. In a short meditated silence, the sound of small birds singing along with the flowing water of an adjoining stream, filled each heart with a sense of pure joy.

Our procession then took us to the Sacred Grove. As in the Rose garden we were directed to circle the inner part of the Grove, using the natural movement of energy which flowed along with us. A Priestess who is also an Archdruidess with the Druid Clan of Dana, greeted us and offered prayers in the Gaelic Language . The Grove revealed all its splendour before our eyes. The branches of beautiful trees, over a hundred years old swayed in a gentle breeze. Standing there, these tall giants are surrounded by dark shades, penetrating sunlight, abundant green grass and masses of Bluebells in flower. The Archdruidess brought our attention to a young Birch tree. It was planted in memory of Lady Olivia Robertson, one of the Founders of the Fellowship of Isis.

Our Presiding Priestess then led us to the Abbey, located next to the Castle itself. Once arrived we gathered ourselves to listen to a Priestess talk of the creation of the Noble Order of Tara. As a Foundation inspired Order, it was designed to work towards saving the environment from the extremes of human devastation of our planet. We were led once more by our host towards the Temple entrance which is protected by Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld. After seeking permission from the wife of Hades, we passed through the doorway leading us beyond ordinary space and time, to the sound of a tolling bell ringing in our ears.

After been treated to an excerpt from the written work of Lady Olivia, the assembled Priesthood invoked the Goddess through her many incarnations. Water was drawn from the Sacred Well and three Priestesses proceeded to Bless those in the Temple. We were yet again treated by a fourth Priestess who sang a most beautiful lament, explaining the Light of Love we experience in our lives. We then retreated to the High Altar where a Priestess was seated in trance. As a vessel for the Goddess Aine, she delivered an Oracle to all that would hear her. As the Sovereign Sun Goddess to the Celtic people, she spoke of her disappointment in humanities Soulless distraction from the Earth. We are akin she said, ”to the walking Dead and have lost our voice”. She pleaded with us to reconnect with the origins of the Light and to search for Healing with the Land. Following the Oracle, we were assisted in meditative silence with the soft soothing chimes of a harp, performed lovingly by a noble Priestess.

We were then invited by our host to prepare and make ready for a Guided Journey. A Priestess of notable distinction proposed that we “unite with the oneness of being” and cast ourselves adrift to the cold waters of the Inuit people and to their Sea Goddess Sedna. The Priestess guided us brave souls to the deep waters of the unconscious. In the sea dwelling of Sedna, we were taught how to comb our troubles out of our hair with the aid of the very comb of Sedna herself. Returning safely ashore to the Temple under Huntington Castle, our guiding Priestess explained of traditions from other cultures and the wider sense of reality we can learn from them.

Our Presiding Priestess next introduced a guest who travelled from the Northwest Coast of America. As a creative offering the young lady told of the warmth she received from Lady Olivia in a hand written reply to her own letter. She was inspired to paint of this event and shared with us a miniature of her inspired work. It was gently passed among those in the Temple.

A Priestess and Priest proceeded to perform a Mystery Play. Taking the roles as the May Queen and the Oak King, they spoke of the gifts they offered to all during this glorious time of Bealtaine. The Queen shows compassion, beauty, love and hope to all humanity. She spoke of nature's promise of renewal and abundance each and every year. The King offered the knowledge to an alchemical process which weds our inner male and female elements together. It is an initiation that prepares us in becoming a whole balanced person. Facing each other, the Priestess and the Priest raised their hands and began to create a flowing magickal energy. From the High Altar they infused healing properties and projected these energies outward for all in the Temple.

To celebrate our ceremony a guest was invited to Bless a platter of fruit and chocolate. She did so speaking in Spanish, her native tongue. As the platter was passed around, announcements from members of the Fellowship were made. In particular, a Priestess passionately spoke of a project she has worked tirelessly on for many years. She informed us that after a series of setbacks, her project would finally come to fruition. She offered her profound thanks to all who have helped to make her cause become a reality.

Our good Lady, our Presiding Priestess then gave thanks for all who had journeyed to the Foundation Centre and took part in our Bealtaine Festival. The Priesthood assembled again on the High Altar to give thanks and to bid farewell to the Goddess until we all meet again.

Rev. Tom Joseph Swinburne

Clonegal Castle
© Katheriona Doyle

© Katheriona Doyle

Garden Flowers
© Katheriona Doyle

Hebe statue
© Katheriona Doyle

Castle Portico
© Katheriona Doyle

Garden Flowers
© Katheriona Doyle

Garden Path
© Katheriona Doyle

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(Our thanks to Tom and Katheriona for the report and photos!)

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