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

Letter from Cressida Pryor
Lughnasad 2014

Cressida Pryor
(photo shared with permission)

My, what an interesting few months we have had since the last Isian News...Isis’s name, blessings be upon her and all of us, or rather the acronym ISIS has been in the news for far from divine reasons...Is this phenomena a manifestation of the dark side of our humanness? I am reading a fascinating book rooted in the psychology and science of human nature by Graham Music called ‘the Good Life’...the cover shows a drawing of a smiling brain reaching down to grasp ‘the hand’ of a warm heart...an image of cooperation between these two vital organs. His work in forensic settings brings him to meet those where this crucial alliance is severed and wider society suffers as a result.

Mystics and sensitives throughout history have pointed the way to a life that is light filled; where there is an open heart capable of linking and thinking with truth and compassion fostering parity between all.

My vision for the FOI also encompasses a movement away from the gradual developments in past decades of complex hierarchical structures of ‘adepti’; the arch priesthood, the grand orders with Knights and Dames Commanders to something simpler and more transparent ...I discovered that the names of many on these lists are a surprise; not least to those who are named there! There is, of course a need for groupings, which allow those with particular vocations to have support, training, encourage development and friendship. I don’t think such groups need to contain a certain number of people (currently 33 seems to be the chosen quantity) so the ‘gaps’ have been filled with likely names...now I can feel collective gasps coming maybe from certain quarters as I write this. Next to me lies Olivia’s Compendium of manuals kindly sent to me from America where it was recently updated after her death. I know her huge well of creativity and love of drama fostered the development of these colourful and elaborate structures. My fear is that this complexity; imbued with heraldic and Masonic overtones flatter our all too easily fed ego. Who wouldn’t feel bolstered by being initiated as 4th Grade Grand Dame~Knight Commander of the xxxx Noble Order? Turning to the compendium for guidance I find Olivia used a term I feel is more congruent with the non-hierarchical ethos of the manifesto:

To become Companions ... someone we share bread with, someone we walk alongside on the same path; deepening relationship through conversation and dream sharing... Now this is more ‘my cup of tea’ and not to forget the slice of cake; paying homage to Olivia’s more earthly sacraments!

What about priest/ess training? ... the first task is to know the ‘look’ of what the FOI comprises because this then influences what training needs to happen. There is a working party in Ireland, close to the Foundation Centre and the Circle of Brigid that is currently exploring a possible broad training curriculum. This task is time consuming and gruelling; I bow down to those involved in this work and when we have more definite ideas will communicate these to you.

For the FOI to recharge after Olivia’s passing, to fresh vibrancy and relevance, requires certain developments, which will emerge after discussion and consultation. My fear is we remain in ‘Olivia Aspic’, which she herself would decry and warn against. Stepping into our own glory perhaps feels disrespectful at present only nine months since her death. The right time will emerge and Isis’s wings will protect and refresh these developments.

I hold these words of John O’Donohue close to my thoughts and heart:

“May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.
As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills....”

I have just heard of Loreon Vigne’s passing, she was one who had the broad view from the mountain top; may her soul soar.

May we all, dear companions, gather strength at this time of first harvest as the wings of Isis spread wide in protection and gratitude.

With Love and the Blessings.

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