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This Fellowship of Isis website has been authorized by the FOI Foundation Center: Clonegal Castle, Enniscorthy, Eire
FOI Priesthood TrainingOlivia Robertson, FOI co-founder, wrote:
"All living things are born of the cosmic Mother Goddess: so each creature, great or small, partake of Her divinity. All of us are daughters and sons of the Goddess, not by creation from an outside Deity, but through birth. However, to become a Priestess or Priest in the Fellowship of Isis involves agreeing to work with Isis in Her divine Plan for this earth. This may take myriad forms - Isis has 10,000 manifestations through as many Goddesses, and Osiris manifests through Gods.
"Who are these Deities? As Hesiod wrote, "The gods and men are of the same race." Translation this liberally, we may regard ourselves as essentially equal with deities - but need not get arrogant! We share this distinction with leopards and rabbits and hawks. . . The Egyptians recognised this innate animism in their deification of the ungainly hippo and the elegant crocodile.
"Thus, devoid of self-pride and arrogance, we can learn to listen to the Deities as their priesthood - and in turn listen to those who come to us! A true member of the priesthood of Isis follows "She who listens." So understanding and loving with wisdom, we can truly heal, help, counsel and create.
"We Her Priesthood claim no power over others. When we are called, we come; where there is suffering, we are there. When help is needed, whether for human, animal or plant, we give it. So we show forth Isis and Osiris in our unique way. We bring heaven down to earth."
An Early Ordination
Olivia & Lawrence Durdin-Robertson with Maga in front of the High Altar
(coloring by Olivia, from a personal collection, © reserved)
FOI Priesthood Training Centers:
Either a Lyceum Priest/ess Hierophant or Iseum FOI Priest/ess may provide Priesthood training, in person or through correspondence.
Both Iseums and Lyceums may provide FOI Priesthood training, as long as the administrator/preceptor has been ordained with the Fellowship of Isis. If you want a center that provides Magi Degree study as well, this would be with a Lyceum.
According to co-founder Olivia Robertson, the Fellowship does not ordain others based solely on "previous life experience" or previous titles gained - there are no honorary degrees or titles in the FOI. (This refers to studies and/or degrees obtained within other traditions in this current incarnation, as well as any former "past life" experiences. See Olivia's Letter regarding this.) In addition, there are no ordinations in the Fellowship of Isis under the legal age of adulthood.
Summary of Guidelines for Priesthood training:
1) A 9-month to 2-year study program, either in person or through correspondence, with an FOI Priest/ess.*
2) Enactment of the FOI's Rite of Ordination, either in person or through attunement with the preceptor Priest/ess.
3) A year-and-a-day waiting period, when the FOI Priesthood certificate is issued and registered with the FOI. (Please see Olivia's original letters and her most recent comment about this guideline, which is now up to the discretion of the preceptor.)
(*Olivia wrote on 21st July, 1999 about the 1st guideline: "There is always criticism when people get Ordination before 9 months or a year, thus nullifying proper Courses of the College." Also on March 15, 2000: "Our Priestesses and Priests of F.O.I. need training AFTER their application as candidates. This business of "previous life work or whatever" is meaningless in context, because this could refer to any other "High Priestesshood" etc. Of what point would be the validity of our courses if just anybody could call themselves FOI Priestesses or Priests!")
does not convey legal ministerial status.
Priesthood Training in Further Detail:
For those who wish ordination within the Fellowship of Isis, a training program is first required. An inquiry is made to a member of the FOI Priesthood within an active center. The recommended study time is 9 months to 2 years, and may be done either in person or through correspondence. Spiritual Vocation on the part of the member is essential. Each member of the Priesthood develops her/his own unique course of study.
Olivia Robertson wrote on 15th, March 2000: "Of course our Priestesses and Priests of F.O.I. need training AFTER their application as candidates. This business of 'previous life work or whatever' is meaningless in context, because this could refer to any other 'High Priesthood' etc. Of what point would be the validity of our courses if just anybody could call themselves F.O.I. Priestesses or Priests!"
At the end of this time, the Ordination of Priestesses and Priests is enacted with the preceptor Priest/ess, either in person or at a distance through attunement). This completes the first phase and confers direct Spiritual Ordination. (A Magi Degree is also declared when studying with a Lyceum.)
Priesthood is passed to the Priestesses and Priests of the Fellowship through the Rite of Ordination, and also through touch and oil. The oil blessed by Vocation is essential. The same ceremony through telepathic attunement is just as effective as the physical rite. Telepathy is the language of the New Aeon. (In attunement, members bless the oil themselves, holding their hands over it in the name of their Dedicatory Goddess.)
Year-and-a-Day Waiting Period:
In October of 2001, Olivia Robertson created the year-and-a-day policy. This is a waiting period after the enactment of the Ordination Rite and before formal registration. This procedural delay validates the ministry of the new Priest/ess in practical life through conscious participation in their Vocation over that time period. Also, good relationships with others become apparent, or difficulties can be dealt with by the teacher if they arise during this time period.
Olivia wrote on Oct. 16, 2001: "the new Prs/Pr should wait 1 year & a day before registration. i.e. the Ordination is spiritually valid, but the dedication of the new member of our FOI Priesthood should be tested! Pretty necessary. . ." (See Olivia's announcement of this Year-and-a-Day, and her subsequent comment now allowing this policy to be up to the discretion of the preceptor.)
For those who follow this guideline, when the year and a day has passed, a Fellowship of Isis Ordination Certificate will be issued by the preceptor Priest/ess, who then registers the appointment. The member may then call themselves a FOI Priest/ess and train/ordain other members into the Fellowship of Isis Priesthood.
This policy was also announced in the Brigantia 2002 issue of the FOI newsletter.
Priesthood Alchemical Degree System:
In 2003, Olivia Roberson created the Spiral of Alchemy and the Alchemical Degree System. This is a program of study specifically for the FOI Priesthood in order to experience further transformation within themselves and in their personal Vocations to the Goddess. Alchemical Degrees are pursued by members of the FOI Priesthood who wish to discover the "Inner Sun" through training with Solar Iseums.
For more information, please see the Priesthood Alchemical Degree System.
October 18, 2001: Priesthood Year-and-a-Day Policy
February, 2002: Vocation in the Fellowship of Isis
October, 2003: Priesthood Alchemical System
Priestess/Priest: Someone who has been ordained within the Fellowship of Isis. Addressed as "Reverend." Abbreviations: Rev. - Reverend, Prs. - Priestess, Pr. - Priest.
Priest/ess Alchemist: A Priest/ess who has attained at least 4 Alchemical Degrees.
Priest/ess Hierophant: A Priest/ess who has attained at least 4 Magi Degrees.
Archpriest/ess: A Priest/ess whose sphere of influence includes 1,000 members or more. Addressed as "The Right Reverend." Abbreviations: Rt. Rev. - Right Reverend, AU - member of Archpriesthood Union, ArchPrs. - Archpriestess, ArchPr. - Archpriest.
Priesthood Alchemical Degree System
Guidelines for all Centers
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