Letters from Olivia Robertson
The following letters provide some background information to the Iseum Initiation framework, previous to Olivia Robertson's formal announcement of it on Brigantia 2000. This information is given for historical significance only. You may read further about the full Spiral of the Adepti that Olivia goes on to create on this page: Iseum Initiations
Olivia Robertson wrote on 21st, July 1999:
"There is one extra grade contributed by the USA military! They [said] that we needed a step between membership and the Priesthood.* Fair point. I solved the problem by examining what we had already, because we couldn't really change at this stage after 20 years. So of course we had Initiates. We had them all along. Everyone was pleased. Being an Initiate meant one was of the Company of the Magi - list degree, yes. But what about Iseums who give Initiations through the Rite of Rebirth, Flamma Vestae and other Rites? Maybe this would be a good incentive for those who do not wish to join the Priesthood, but still want a designation for what they have achieved, whether in the College or not. Initiation 1st degree, and up the scale. It would give something for students in courses to ben an FOI Initiate. I note the terms Magus and Maga are not in use. But one could put on the fly-cover one one's book, "Initiate of the Fellowship of Isis." It gives status. A term people like. And who will contradict the USA Military? They know all about status- Majors, etc. I hope you like this idea, flowering even as I type. You see many are not ready for Priesthood. Courses could offer Initiation. This solved [FOI member's] problem. What was she to give members who did her short 3 month course? There is always criticism when people get Ordination before 9 months or a year, thus nullifying proper Courses of the College."
(*N.B. In the Fellowship, Adepthood is an alternative (or an addition) to a Vocation in the Priesthood, and not a required step to it.)
Spiral drawing by Olivia Robertson
Difference between Iseum & Lyceum Initiations
Olivia Robertson writes on August 12, 1999, day after eclipse:
"There are 2 sorts of Initiates. Those in Iseums who have passed an Initiation successfully according to the teacher and group and themselves. Doing a ceremony does not in itself qualify for the designation. One year should elapse between each stage. The group consensus and acceptance of the teacher is vital as a candidate may be very spiritual but have disruptive personal relationships or have some obvious failing. So it is a serious honour and not merely "passing an exam." Acceptance by the Goddess of the Iseum needs to be signified through Candidate and teacher and group. So there should on no account be "gong collecting." 10 years work could not qualify for more or even 10 degrees.
"The Company of the Magi is composed of Magi who have passed through grades of the College of Isis so is much more focussed on a Lyceum course. Again, the designation Magus or Maga should only, I feel, be accorded after 1 year and only be conferred if the neophyte, the Teacher and the Magi of the Lyceum feel the neophyte is a worthy and honourable member of the Company of the Magi.
"Hence you have 2 groupings. 1) Initiations of Iseums, 2) The Company of the Magi of the College of Isis.
"Such a structure not only prepares for Priesthood, but caters for those students who prefer a philosophical, esoteric or caring role as distinct from the Priesthood. . . I feel this is an important development prepared for us by Isis, because the underlying system was always there from the beginning.
"This new activation of what was always present but not much used should be an immense encouragement to students of Iseums and Lyceums."
(This letter provides historical background to the Iseum Initiation framework, previous to Olivia Robertson's formal announcement of it: Brigantia of 2000. Study of the Spiral of the Adepti is not a precursor to, or necessary in order to be ordained within the FOI Priesthood, which has separate requirements from the Adepthood.)
Olivia later wrote in Isis of Fellowship:
"The Spiral of the Adepti of the Fellowship really created itself, responding to the needs of psychics, dreamers, and idealists. I love making audio-cassettes, joining with friends from many countries as we described magical journeys to the stars. As well as taped journeys, we also used the actual ground and wilderness, river and trees surrounding the castle. These rituals and processions were often filmed for television and videos, and photographed for magazines and newspapers. To me such viewers and readers were part of our ceremony from the future! If they enjoyed what we were doing, they were participants. We gave public Initiation ceremonies, which also formed part of our official Iseum courses."
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