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

The Vessel of the Seer
Order of the Helmet of Pallas Athena

From Cait Branigan, Circle of Brigid, Foundation Center, Ireland:

In the Summer of 2013, Olivia Robertson, during her stay in hospital, began to mediate a vision directly from her Inner Contact, which related to the re-awakening of the Order of the Helmet of the Pallas Athena. It was to be a profound aspect of her life's work and heralded her movement from this world to the next. During this time, she had many conversations with a number of priesthood who visited her (including Marian Smiles and myself) about this unfolding vision. As the months unfolded, she asked me to be the Custodian of this Order. Due to her death and the unfolding changes this brought, I have waited until now to finally bring her vision to the wider Fellowship.

To me, based on my conversations with Olivia, and those she had with others, the purpose of the Order is to provide a context for the original visionary aspect of the Fellowship, and to distinguish that work from the outer work of the Daughter Societies within the FOI. Although people in many (if not all) of the societies engage in visionary work, the Order may allow for support, community and context for those involved. One role it may have is the continuation of Olivia's visionary work. By engaging an Order, no one person holds any special visionary position, but all can contribute in a safe environment. It has always been an important aspect of the Fellowship which Olivia obviously wishes to continue.

The name of the Order, originally the Order of the Helmet, is now The Vessel of the Seer, to distinguish between the Inner Order and the Outer Order. As visionaries, we all stand around the vessel of the Seer which is the Cauldron/Grail. There are no grades or training levels within it. The vessel is the context of the vision, the community of visionaries, yet also the vision itself. The Order is open to all members of the Priesthood and the other daughter societies.

Below you will find Olivia's original statement and another which Olivia asked me to mediate.

Olivia's original text
Olivia's Original Text, photo © C. Branigan

Olivia's Original Statement

The Order of the Helmet has been revived, through the voice of Pallas Athena who spoke 300 years ago to Sir Francis Bacon who appeared this year (2013) by the lake of Clonegal Castle in the robes of the Grand Master of the Rosicrucian Order. The aim now of the Order is to strengthen those with psychic and mystical abilities to give balance to them with the world around them. Sir Walter Raleigh (my ancestor) had that gift.

I have been guided to ask Cait Branigan to be Custodian. It is important, in Ireland, that she has both gifts. Commend our vision with the Lamp of Vision - a book by A.E. (the actual title being the Candle of Vision) on the subject of mysticism, helped by Yeats (a friend of my Father who designed his tombstone having been requested by Yeats to do so). The Lamp is the emblem of the Order. The Rose is the symbol (in our rose garden). The Gift of the Order is the Halo of the Helmet and the Inner Sun of Medusa: the Heart Centre.

Sitting with Olivia in her favourite coffee shop in Gorey in late October/early November, several weeks prior to her death, I was asked, in true Olivia style, to mediate the words of the Inner Order as to the role of the Order of the Helmet (which, from this time, will be known as the Vessel of the Seer)

The order is the guardian society of the manifestation of mystical vision; the Allies of the Awakened Heart; the supporters of the stream of vision which emanates from the Cauldron - the Grail. It is the deep remembrance of our unity with All That Is. It is the Friend of the Mystic, the Visionary, the Psychic.

In our remembrance of unity, we seek the Divine in each being - the human or the animal. There is no hierarchy. There is no segregation. All are as one. May we acknowledge the nobility inherent within all life. May we honour the profound truths of existence. Truth, Nature, Love: let these be our teachers. Let the Inner Circle of the Order enliven and enlighten us. May Peace emanate to us all.

Cait Branigan
September 22, 2015

"Self-born Goddess Parthenos,
descend upon us with Wisdom and life-giving power!
But temper Thy rays with compassion
and veil the snake crowned Head of Medusa,
which is Thy Shield and Mystery."

Olivia Robertson

Pallas Athena
Pallas Athena, Medusa Altar. Members' Shrine
Foundation Center Temple. © photo Minette Quick

Homeric Hymn that Olivia included in the booklet "Sphinx":
"I sing of Pallas Athena, the Glorious Goddess,
bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart.
Arrayed in arms of flashing gold,
She rules the day with the sun-rayed serpents of the Gorgon.
At night She knows all things through the eyes of Her owl of Wisdom."

Athena's Owl and Athena
Athena's Owl and Athena by Olivia Robertson
photo © M. Quick

"Wisdom is needed that we may tread the path to our goal with success.
Athena's Owl sees in the dark!"

Olivia Robertson

Olivia wrote in 2002: "Pallas Athena is the Goddess who has the helmet of light, the owl of Wisdom and the spear (meteor) of power, and bears the shield of the inner serpent power, the Medusa. But she is also the Athena who teaches us arts and crafts and the growth of plants and trees such as the olives of healing and peace. For the spiritual light of the Goddess does not blind one by flashing the torchlight of hard facts in ones face. The essence of the use of spiritual Light of Vesta is to bring clarity to objects, ideas, problems - not to worship the Light Bringer! This clear Light of Truth brings different revelation to each person relevant to their own individuality. Thus it brings the gifts of creation, wisdom and empathy."

From the book "Urania": "Pallas Athena is Goddess of Wisdom. The Trojans lost power through lack of wisdom, and so the wise Odysseus brought this knowledge to Greece. But Greece in her turn, torn by dissension, was conquered by the Romans, wise in government. The Palladium represents wisdom of government and is with those who practice this. Yet I sense that there is a mystery in this and I would know more. (gazes into crystal) I see a radiating carved stone animated by the pure spirit of a beautiful Being, with plumes of light pouring from Her head and with a spear of light in Her hand. The statue forms a bond between humans and Deity, radiating Divine Wisdom. When the stone is lost through folly, those more worthy of it gains its power, until they in their turn stray in the paths of foolishness. The Palladium is buried, until a wiser generation unearths it."

Athena, Goddess of Light & Darkness
Athena, Goddess of Light & Darkness
By Olivia Robertson

From the Introduction to "Dea": Within the shrine is the resting place of Deity, the Altar. Made of stone or wood, the altar is the throne of Isis, Aset; and the Palladium, the casket of Athena. Here is the meeting place of Deity and Devotee. Here the Goddess or God manifest either through the Hierophant or through all the participants. The elements placed on the altar are an earthly focus where Deity may materialise through earth, air, fire and water; and through oil which represents the blending of the primal four. Any shelf or table in a room may be the altar, and any quarter or place between the compass points may be used. For each compass point is relevant to the Goddess. On the altar may be offered a stone, a pot plant, incense sticks and a cup of water. Through their hallowing by the Devotee, these are used as a focus for their own true being. The gem of life is in a stone: the divine breath is within smoke: the elixir of life shines through water. Every element, every atom, contains the spark needful for its transmutation.

From the book "Dea" - Ariadne speaking to Theseus: "Thou hast given honour to Athena as Athena Pandemos, Democracy, and as Athena Peithia, She who Persuades. So the Goddess decrees that thy Attica shall be forever in Elysium. She shall be Heaven for all who love Liberty and the peaceful Arts."

Associated writings of Olivia Robertson:

The Revival of the Order of the Helmet by Olivia Robertson (See Act 3)

The Palladium of Pallas Athena (with audio)

The Athenaea Ritual Drama from "Panthea"

"Athena: Arcadian Awakening" by Olivia Robertson

Audio: Introductions to Rites from "Athena: Arcadian Awakening"

FOI Letters & Correspondence

(Many thanks to Cait and the Circle of Brigid for sharing this announcement.)

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