FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson and members attend Symphony for the Goddess. Photo, Claudia Wehmeyer
Symphony for the Goddess
Symphony for the Goddess 2000 was the first FOI Convention held in Germany. It was attended by members of the FOI community that has evolved through the efforts of Claudia and Thomas Wehmeyer. Their community is the oldest in Continental Europe. The event was held in the vicinity of the famous Teutoforest.
News, Issue No. 97, Lughnasadh, contained the following report written
Wise: "I have just returned from the first
FOI convention to be held in Germany. It was a huge success and I was
to be asked to participate with a talk and
workshop on the Beasts of Isis. The first day was held in a magnificent
with ritual drama, ceremony, talks and song
and dance. The second day was held outside. We were blessed with
for workshops, fashion show, and music. There
were ordinations, and initiations into the Druid Clan of Dana. Olivia
gave a powerful oracle of the Goddess Dana.
Members came from UK, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. The children
enjoyed the 2 days and happily joined in the
singing, dancing and he animal workshop. Claudia and Thomas of the Tara
School are to be congratulated for arranging
such a joyful celebration of the goddess. I look forward to next year's
"The Lyceum is situated in beautiful natural surroundings and rites take place in mighty forests." - Olivia Robertson
event "is situated in an area of outstanding
beauty and peace. The house to which Thomas and Claudia have moved is
in a traditional way by a Landlord who makes
windmill and has many skills of a true craftsman. He owns part of the
Teutoforest. Rituals are performed among the
magnificent trees. There are 3 lakes and a subterranean sacred well. The
School grounds have yielded findings of flint
stone tools and weapons dating from about 3500 BC." (Isian News issue
Claudia writes: "In the Hedge School grounds we work in the Danaan-Isian Current with the Goddess, The Sidhe, Spirits who were here before "Aryans" - Germanic tribes. The jewels of the Danaan Deities are recognised in this Retreat Center as being the spiritual treasures of the Faery folks and nature spirits of every land on earth. The Danaan Current opens the door to Tír na nÓg, Land of Immortality, to lovers of the Goddess wherever they lie, whatever their race or culture. In the Teutoforest of the Goddess Hulda and Osning and Helweg, the Dana Clan has found a new Danaan Nemetona." Claudia and Thomas see the Danaan treasures as being Love, Truth and Compassion: Courage, Beauty and Abundance. (Isian News issue 98, Samhain 2000)
In an article for the Mirror of Isis, Claudia wrote of the area in which the Symphony for the Goddess takes place: "
Travellers who make a journey to Tara Hedge College have to drive along the path of the old “Helweg” and the “Osning”. In pre-christian times the “Osning” had been the procession path of the Goddess of Spring; in our area Her name was Eostre, Ostara and Hulda, the origin of our famous “Frau Holle”, who has got her eternal memorial in Grimm´s Fairy Tales.
Several translations of the old term “Osning” are possible: it may mean “Path of Light”, as “Os”, according to some sources may mean something like “Heavenly Light”; other theories make from “Osning” “the Sacred Path of the Goddess Ostara”; and indeed both theories are not wrong, if we take into consideration the local mythology. It is known that until about the 13th century the chariot of the Goddess was drawn from village to village, bringing the blessing of life and spring to the people. We cannot say exactly the name by which She was worshipped; but it is a well-known fact, that Deities´ names were nearly never just names. The sense of those old “names” may in most cases be lost for us, but in general these names were more of an attribution or an address, a title, as, for example “Morrigan” is “The Great Queen” or even a “Great Queen”. So an “Eostre” or “Ostara” may have been a “light bringer”, as she brought the warming light from the east, she brought the warming sun of spring.
Frau Holle is either “Hulda”, the “Huldvolle”, the “Lovely One”, the Goddess who grants boons, or the One who lives in the “Hollerbusch” – the elderberry tree, which is growing here in plenty, being sacred to the Goddess of our environment.
If we travel on the ancient Helweg it leads us to the northwest; and we journey directly into the heart of the “Senne”. “Senne” is derived from the latin word “sina”, which means “heather”. And indeed we travel into a desolated spot, heather and nothing but heather as far as the eye can see. Occasionally small muddy ponds bubble in duet with the toads and frogs living there. From time to time the deep silence may be interrupted by the hoarse caws of the crows ..." (Mirror of Isis, Issue 1, Volume III, Beltane, 2008)