College of Isis - Original College of Isis Manual
The College of Isis Manual (1992)
Published in 1992, six years after the creation of the College of Isis in 1986, this was the first FOI publication to give detailed information on the College of Isis - including lyceum coursework guidelines, an illustration of the Star of Ishtar diagram drawn by Chesca Potter, the key to ritual correspondences, "Flamma Vestae", ritual of initiation into a Fellowship of Isis lyceum and the Consecration of a Hierophant, "Flamma Sacerdotae" into the FOI/College of Isis. This manual was entirely written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson with input from her brother, FOI Co-Founder Lawrence Durdin-Robertson. They co-created the College of Isis.
The complete contents of the College of Isis Manual, originally compiled by Olivia Robertson, appears below. This edition was issued by Cesara Publications, the private publishing house of the Fellowship of Isis Foundation Centre, Clonegal Castle in 1992.
The College of Isis Manual
1. The Diagram of the College of Isis with Its key ..........................Over
2. Foreword ........................................................................................3
3. How to choose a Lyceum .............................................................3
4. How to found a Lyceum ................................................................4
5. The Priesthood Hierophancy .......................................................4
6. The Magi Degree Course ............................................................5
7. Guide-Lines for forming a Degree Course ................................7
8. Flamma Vestae: Initiation into a Lyceum ...................................8
9. Flamma Sacerdotae: Consecration of a Hierophant ..............14
10. Correspondence Courses .......................................................16
In the College of Isis Manual, the Star of Ishtar Tiamat Dragon Diagram has the following caption:
Ishtar and Tiamat are Babylonian Goddesses. The four spiral loops of the Dragon Tiamat illustrate four stages of consciousness: Physical-Etheric, Astral and Psychic, Spiritual and Divine, the latter encircling the Matrix, Source of Creation. The famous eight-pointed Star of Ishtar represents seven Cosmic Rays. 0 refers to a previous spiral, and 8 the higher octave begins a further spiral beyond.
The diagram may be coloured around a white centre, moving inwards from violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and again violet, the latter indicating a further inner rainbow.
The diagram and key was given to Olivia Robertson through inspiration. The Artwork is by Chesca Potter.
Key for the Star of Ishtar and Tiamat Dragon Diagram
College of Isis, Magi Degree Rites
CONNECTIONS PLANETS NUMBERED RITES COSMIC RAY
0. North to Center Earth & Pluto 5. The Spheres 0 & 8th Cosmic
Winter Solstice 13. Earth Ray, coloured
Earth 21. Pisces & Cerridwen White/Rainbow
Nature 29. Scorpio & Kundalini
1. North-East to Center Mars 6. Demeter & Persephone 1st Cosmic Ray,
Brigantia 14. Mars & Morrigan coloured Red
Fire 22. Aries & Durga
Power 30. Sagittarius & Brynhild
2. East to Center Venus 7. Eros & Psyche 2nd Cosmic Ray,
Vernal Equinox 15. Venus & Vishnu coloured Orange
Water 23. Taurus & Isis
Love 31. Capricorn & Terra
3. Southeast to Center Mercury 8. The Labyrinth 3rd Cosmic Ray,
Beltane 16. Mercury & Sophia coloured Yellow
Air 24. Gemini, Artemis & Apollo
Truth 32. Aquarius & Juno
4. South to Center Jupiter 1. Rite of Rebirth 4th Cosmic Ray,
Summer Solstice 9. Space coloured Green
Light 17. Jupiter & Hathor
Initiation 25. Cancer & Tiamat
33. Mystical Initiation
5. Southwest to Center Saturn 2. Ordination 5th Cosmic Ray,
Lughnasadh 10. Time coloured Blue
Ether 18. Saturn & Astarte
Science/Occultism 26. Leo & Sekhmet
6. West to Center Uranus 3. Isis Wedding Rite 6th Cosmic Ray,
Autumnal Equinox & Inner Sun 11. Sun coloured Indigo
Bliss 19. Uranus & Sarasvati
The Arts/Ritual 27. Virgo & Dana
7. Northwest to Center Neptune 4. Awakening of Osiris 7th Cosmic Ray,
Samhain & Moon 12. Moon coloured Violet
Night 20. Neptune & Ngame
Mystical Awakening/ 28. Libra and Kwan Yin
The Diagram of the Cosmic Web was given through inspiration to Olivia Robertson. It illustrates the emanation of Life from the Divine Matrix, Womb of the Goddess, and the Path of Return thereto with harvest of attainments. The spiral path to and from the Matrix is non-dualistic: it shows that the Divine Plan includes both the In-breathing and Out-breathing of the Cosmic Life Force. The spiral coils of Tiamat relate to Space and Extension, the Path of pluralist Awareness. The four coils represent the Etheric, Astral, Spiritual and Divine Spheres around the Matrix. The gradations are as subtle as those of the Rainbow. The focused Rays of Ishtar refer to Time and Measurement. They bring Enlightenment through concentration. Therefore the Candidate using rites on the diagram should choose them in the order most helpful to his or her own chosen Path.
In the diagram the dual zodiac signs are related to the 4 elements: Pisces & Scorpio, 0 & 8th Ray; water. Taurus & Capricorn: 2nd Ray; earth. Gemini & Aquarius 3rd Ray; air. Single Sun Signs: Cancer: 4th Ray; water. Leo 5th Ray; fire. Virgo: 6th Ray; earth. Libra: 7th Ray; air.
The Administrator of the College of Isis is Olivia Durdin Robertson, assisted by Caroline Wise, Prs. H. of the Lyceum of Isis of Time & Space, POB 196 London WCIA 1LY. Olivia has appointed Caroline Wise as her successor as Administrator.
Magi degrees are attained through Communion with the Deities experienced by the Candidate, and the acceptance of this by Hierophant and the Companions of the particular Lyceum. The 33rd degree is conferred directly by Deity and may be kept as a private initiation.
The Liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis has been inspired by She whose name it bears; She who is crowned with the stars, is robed by the sun and standeth upon the moon. It deals with earthly, psychic and spiritual spheres. The three mundane facts of life; birth, work and marriage are treated in the Rites of Rebirth, Ordination and Wedding. Choice of one’s role in the Divine Drama through identification with archetypal figures of Myth are presented in Five Mysteries in “Dea”. Two Rites of Time and Space and three Elemental Rites of Sun, Moon and Earth are presented in “Urania”, along with the ceremonial magic of the seven sacred planets. These relate to the psyche. The “Sophia” zodiac ceremonies introduce the seeker to the higher Sophia of the Trino-Sophia, thrice holy Gnosis of Wisdom.
COLLEGIUM ISIDIS THE COLLEGE OF ISIS
The College of Isis through its Lyceums offers a structured Magi Degree Course in the Fellowship of Isis Liturgy. Tuition is given by the Priesthood Hierophant. There are 32 working degrees, the 33rd relating to spontaneous mystical awakening. Each Lyceum provides its own course culminating in a rite of Liturgy. The rites are based on the 33 intersecting points made by the 8 pointed Star of the Goddess Ishtar bisecting the 4-fold coils of the Dragon Goddess Tiamat. These are: the basic triangle of “Rebirth”, “Ordination”, and “Wedding”. Five Divine Mysteries in “Dea”. 12 Planetary initiations in “Urania” and 12 Cosmic Rites of the Zodiac in “Sophia”. Rites may be taken in any order suitable for the candidate’s progress.
The taking of a degree lies with the Candidate. If Divine Communion takes place in some way during the period of working the Rite, a degree may be conferred. Hierophants confer Magi degrees with consensus from Candidate and Group. Magi Degree Correspondence Courses are listed in each Isian News. The Sources of the Liturgy, given at the end of each Rite are from ancient texts ranging from India, China, Egypt and Europe, to America and Africa. These form part of recommended reading. Audio-cassette tapes, with Olivia Robertson as Guide, are provided for all the rituals.
3. HOW TO CHOOSE A LYCEUM
A list of active Lyceums is given in every issues of Isian News. Every Lyceum is also an Iseum, Hearth of the Goddess, so the addresses are given under “Iseums”. Every Hierophant may conduct a course. A request to take part in a Magi Degree Course should be made to the Hierophant. Procedure varies as to acceptance: this may take the form of a personal interview or, if a Correspondence Course is desired, there may be written acceptance. In a College that looks to the coming of the New Aeon, telepathic assessment on the part of the Hierophant/s and spiritual Vocation from the candidate is essential so that group harmony may be preserved.
Candidates choose their Lyceum because they are drawn to the particular aspect it shows forth. Every companion, being daughter or son of the Mother Goddess, has equal honour with the Hierophant, but voluntarily submits to guidance and teaching. Increasingly they bring their own individual gifts to the Lyceum. When a King asks the way of a beggar, he is learning from the beggar: in this instance the beggar is the King’s guru. Listening is the receptive side of teaching. There is rich exchange. It is a delightful thought that, as we ourselves are manifestations of the parent Deities in our own odd, peculiar fashion, so we can give Them our own original, peculiar gifts, which they can obtain nowhere else! Without each of us the cosmos is imperfect. Nuit lacks a star.
4. HOW TO FOUND A LYCEUM
To found a Lyceum, the Founder needs to be a consecrated Hierophant. There is a Vocation from the Goddess to the would-be Founder to undertake the work with some clear intent. Acceptance is given from Foundation Lyceum at Clonegal Castle and the Blessing of the Hierophant/s who have consecrated the would-be founder. Goodwill is essential among all the Hierophancy of the College, who share a telepathic awareness of their spiritual work.
5. THE PRIESTHOOD HIEROPHANCY:
THE COLLEGE PRECEPTORS
The designation “Hierophant” means “one who shows forth.” In Collegium Isidis, of the Fellowship of Isis, Hierophants already belong to the F.O.I. Priesthood. Their vocation from the Goddess is to act as Guides and Teachers of candidates, already F.O.I. members, who wish to attain Magi degrees in a particular Lyceum. A Hierophant has gained at least four Magi degrees attained through years of spiritual experience working in a Lyceum. The hallmarks of a fine Hierophant are wisdom and humility, love and understanding. The possession of a sense of humour brings the laughter of the Gods!
“Status” means “standing still” and can lead to stagnation. Hence any superiority induced through obtaining an honorific titles is not relevant to such a creative movement as our Fellowship! The wider the horizon that can be seen, the greater is the extent of the unknown. The Hierophant needs self-confidence derived from communion with the chosen Goddess, or Goddess and God. Knowledge that most of us make at least one mistake daily, encourages us to pray for help to the Cosmic Hierarchs, parents of all beings! Thus a cat or a dog may bring strong love and psychic power to a ritual, a channel for Bast or Anubis. No creature belongs to a sort of frogspawn of “group soul”. Each bears the original spark from its Divine Parents.
The Mitre, the Pectoral, Sistrum and Crook represent Divine Gifts bestowed by the Immortal Deities. Immortality is not seen as a distant goal receding into a future of endless hard work and spiritual development. Rather immortality is enjoyed in the “now” or never. So every ritual, every practice may bring a Candidate awareness of the cosmos. Sudden mystical experience brings the thirty-third degree to the veriest beginner on the Path to Deity. Nonetheless, such mystics need the discipline, experience and hard work of fellow students. Mystical experiences are given as encouragement - the carrot - rather than as a reward at school prize giving!
I give the words of the God Osiris, as channeled by our Priest, Noel Daly: “Be human. Have care for those whom I entrust to your charge.” So many aspirants nowadays believe they are descended from the stars; so the injunction to be human brings an earthiness useful for dealing with physical problems. Care for others indicates fellow-feeling, empathy, rather than patronage, associated with old-style Patriarchy.
As the Fellowship is rapidly expanding, a new Hierophant, usually after a reasonable period, may wish to found a new Lyceum. This is by courtesy and discussion from the previous guides and Teachers in the parent Lyceum. Each Lyceum, through its Dedication, is twinned with an initial Iseum, thus bringing the College into close communion with the wider network of Iseums. The Dedicatory Divine Names of Power of Goddess, or Goddess and God manifest particular attributes of the Deities concerned in the Iseum - Lyceum. Therefore there can be no set curriculum for the College. Deity in its eternal Being contains all aspects mirrored forth through the whole Company of Heaven, from Deities to birds. Thus Hierophants, through inspiration from their particular Deity or Deities, produce their own training Course. This reflects the democratic character of the Fellowship: the Hierophants require consensus from the Priesthood Magi and companions of their Lyceum to bring forth a good harvest. A Dedication to Minerva brings intellectual fruition; to Lakshmi, beauty and abundance; and to Bast, work for animal welfare.
6. THE MAGI DEGREE COURSE
The degree system is helpful, bringing achievement through structured progress. There are 32 degrees in the F.O.I. liturgy. The 33rd degree and those beyond refer to expansion of consciousness bestowed directly by the Deities, hence not to be codified.
The student of the Qabalah can relate those degrees with the symbolic Tree of Life of Ancient Babylon. Its roots extend through the Underworld of the Goddess Allat. Its mighty trunk with its twenty-two branches extends through the heavens. Shining radiations flow through the branches, which bear the constellations as flowers. The fruits thereof are sun, moon and earth and the seven sacred planets. On the summit of the tree shines the Star of Ishtar.
Let us follow the course of an imaginary girl who wishes to follow the spiritual life, one who would have taken the veil in the middle ages. She longs for her twin soul not now on earth, and so will not marry in this life-time. She undergoes the Rite of Rebirth (1) and Ordination of Priestess of Artemis, (2). She chooses to act as Persephone in her Mystery, so that she may experience the deep roots of the Tree that grow in the underworld, (6). Because of her involvement in reincarnation she chooses Time Magic, (10) and the tides of the Moon, (12). She is attracted by Atlantis, so she learns the Magic of Neptune and Ngame, (20). She wishes to help others to attain harmony through contemplation, so she chooses the Mystical Awakening of Libra and Kwan Yin (29). Altogether she has taken seven degrees through many years. She has evolved psychically and mystically, and is successfully leading a group in trance work, particularly regression and prophecy. She calls her group “The Centre of Persephone”.
Let us now imagine a vital, cheerful man, a Healer, who wishes to take a course to develop his gift, and also to help him in his career in the social services. He begins with marrying his magical partner, (3) followed by a double Ordination with his wife in the Priesthood of Hathor, (2). He identifies with the hero Theseus in the Mystery of the Labyrinth, (8), for he too wishes to build the celestial Athens. Expansive by nature, he enjoys Space Magic, (9) and enlarges his healing capacity through The Sun, (11). His wife and he practice the ceremonial magic of Venus and Vishnu, (15), and together contemplate the Mystery of Aries and Durga, (22). it is noted that this pair are like brother and sister in their vitality and expansiveness. The Healer would be more in polarity with the chaste Priestess of Artemis and, if they were to work together, powerful results from the union of opposites could ensue.
Those who wish to balance rather than enhance their potentiality could do a course directly in opposition to their natural bent. Our Priestess of Artemis might - against the grain - undertake the Healer’s degree course: she could struggle to attain the chastity and introspection of the Priestess of Artemis. However, harmonious progress may be attained through using the rites depicted on one ray on the diagram, as these are in resonance with a chosen planet and cosmic ray. Although it is the Deities who bestow Divine Revelation at their own good time and place, not at our choosing, nonetheless rituals can produce a sudden onset of psychic gifts, and sometimes extended consciousness.
7. GUIDE-LINES FOR FORMING
A MAGI DEGREE COURSE
Although many Hierophants who have had long experience in the spiritual field choose to create their own course, based on the rituals of the F.O.I. Liturgy, there are others, both Hierophants and companions, who desire guide-lines for the forming of a course.
STAGE I IDENTIFICATION WITH THE DIVINE ARCHETYPE
The candidate undergoes THE RITE OF REBIRTH and so experiences the descent and ascent of Goddess and God. Thus awareness of her/his own divinity may be attained. The five SACRED MYSTERIES IN “DEA” are experienced, through study, meditation, path-working or enactment. The candidate chooses a role with which to identify, thus choosing her/his own spiritual path. The Initiations and the Festivals presented in “Panthea” are helpful. The keynote is SPIRITUAL AND PSYCHIC RECEPTIVITY.
STAGE II THE DEVELOPMENT OF WILL-POWER
The candidate achieves ORDINATION into the F.O.I. Priesthood or participates in the Ordination of another. THE TWELVE MAGICAL RITUALS in “URANIA” are used, the candidate choosing to be the neophyte in rites which she/he chooses. The essential task of the would-be Maga and Magus is to learn to develop individual creative Will.
In most human beings free-will needs to be gained through strength. Thus control is won by the Spirit over the elements of being: soul, mind, emotions and body. The development of the psychic centres given in “Melusina” are of use. The keynote is RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE’S OWN DESTINY.
STAGE III COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
The Candidate participates in THE ISIS WEDDING RITE either as groom or bride or friend. THE TWELVE MYSTICAL AWAKENINGS OF THE STARS from “Sophia” are presented. Here the Spirit turns from the use of power, and instead becomes aware of the Deities. The true Maga and Magus receive inspiration, creativity and all good qualities through the Deities from Divine Source. Then they are able to share these qualities with others. The trance journeys to the stars in “Psyche” are of assistance. The keynote is HARMONY WITH ALL BEINGS.
The Hierophants may offer breathing exercises, Yoga, path-workings, study sources and group meditations to enhance each stage. The names of new Magi and the attainment of new degrees are listed in Isian News. Hierophants receive Charters from Clonegal Castle Lyceum and their names are listed with those of their Lyceums in the world-wide roll of the College of Isis.
8. FLAMMA VESTAE
INITIATION INTO A FELLOWSHIP OF ISIS LYCEUM
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS VESTA
Priest Hierophant: Come to us, Holy Light, Divine Spirit. Who are Vesta of the Everlasting Flame! Without Thee we are lifeless, devoid of true being. We exist in a transient world of appearances, entrapped in delusions. When we struggle to free ourselves, we are dragged away from reality by the nightmares of our fellow sufferers. Free us with fire from heaven. Come to us through Thy Daughter!
Oracle: (through Priestess Hierophant) All those who pray for the Divine Light are answered, even if no Light is bestowed. For the weary soul, lost in a world of phantoms can be driven insane by too much Light, too soon! All your work, your struggles, all you quest for goodness, however, form a foundation on which my Eternal Flame may safely burn. Know that your body is the Phoenix and it is My Fire which consumes the Sun Bird, burning upon My Altar! From this alchemy of transmutation, the Phoenix rises in glory from its ashes: so shall it be in the fullness of time with all who are born of the Mother God!
The little flame that you bring forth with you from our Mother's womb is with you always, however dimly it burns. The only spiritual death is when that flame is willfully put out. But even then through Divine Grace the flame may be re-ignited, when the soul is penitent and is ready. It is greed and cruelty, selfishness and contempt for others that stifle My flame. To live without it is impossible. For many years the soul may struggle on, becoming increasingly mechanical, trying to preserve its individual consciousness. Without the Vital Spark the body itself succumbs to diseases and perishes prematurely. Then the self finds itself in a limbo, neither in the Sphere of Spirits nor on earth. In such a plight the loving help of others is needed: many spiritual rescue workers bring light and warmth from My hearth.
Truly, when you give generously to your fellow humans, animals, all Earth's creatures, you suffer no loss, but rather increase! A candle flame is not lessened when light is taken from it to light many other candles. There is more, not less light. Yet all the candle-flames come from the same source. So is it with My Vestal Flame, which gives forth the white Light of Truth and the golden Fire of Love to all. And yet honour the darkness, for it is from the matrix of night that day cometh forth.
All spiritual and physical fires, whether animating the atom, the earth, the sun or the galaxies, emanate from My Eternal Flame. This is beyond both time and space. My Light is expressed individually through each creature, every atom: yet all are One in me. Share your light and Love with all and you will gain all.
On a white-draped altar let there be seven white candles, vessel of water, incense, an ankh pendant and long red cord by an unlighted candle. An open fire or glowing charcoal in brazier is in temple. Priestess of Vesta in gold headdress and white gown stands by fire. Priestess of the Tutelary Goddess of the Lyceum is seated by altar, in robes related to the Goddess. By her stands her Priest. Before them Priestess and Priest Hierophant in Egyptian headdresses and robes. Before altar are: Priestess of Maat and Priest of Tehuti, each holding feather, in Egyptian robes and Priestess of Astraea in classical headdress and robes. Companions wear purple robes. On a table are: wine, fruit-juice, a glass of water, a loaf of bread and a loving cup or glasses. By door stands Priest of Anubis in black and gold, wearing sigil of the jackal. Candidate waits outside door and wears white with white veil (woman) or hood (man).
Companions hold Candidate's gifts of incense, flowers and work of art. The Guide, Priest of Hermes, is in classical robes and bears Caduceus Wand.
Guide instructs candidate to knock on temple door Three times.
Priest of Tehuti: Honoured Guardian of our Temple, Priest of Anubis, who seeks admission to the College of Isis?
Priest of Anubis leaves temple, speaks with Guide and returns.
Priest of Anubis: Noble Priesthood and Companions of the Lyceum of ***, the Psychopompos, Priest of Hermes, conducts a candidate hither. She/he is a member of Aset Shemsu, the Fellowship of Isis. She/he seeks membership of our Lyceum of ***.
Priestess of Astraea: Who stands Sponsor for this Candidate?
Sponsors speak in favour.
Priest of Tehuti: Who would refuse this candidate membership?
Companions speak if any wish to.
Priest of Tehuti: Let us confer.
Decision is made.
Priest of Tehuti: The Candidate is to admitted!
Priest of Anubis admits Candidate and Guide.
FACING THE ASSESSORS
Guide: The candidate must now face the Three Assessors. (Leads candidate before priesthood of Maat, Tehuti and Astraea.)
Priestess of Astraea: Harken to the words of the Goddess Maat. “I am the Goddess of Truth. I hold this my feather before my soul. Each frond responds at once to the breath of the Spirit. Dare you face Truth with honesty, whether it be the soul-shaking winds of new ideas, the ugliness of wrong-doing of yourself and others, and the shock of harsh facts?”
Priestess of Maat: Though the mask of Truth may be feared as terrible, when She is faced with courage and faith, perfect beauty and goodness are seen!
Priest of Tehuti: Heed the words of the God Tehuti. I am the God of Wisdom. I show the soul my feather, that protects the sacred Ibis from the cold winds, and balances it in flight. Do you balance Truth with Compassion: Love with understanding?
Priest of Tehuti: Those who love, forgive others: those who face the truth are just: those with wisdom forgive themselves!
Priestess of Astraea: Harken to the words of the Goddess Astraea. "I am the Goddess of Justice who fled this world because of the wicked deeds of men. Now I return at the end of this age!" Are you just to those you dislike? Do you understand the point of view of those with whom you disagree? Are you just to all creatures, human, animal, plant?"
Priestess of Astraea: Learn to recognize the good qualities in every being, including yourself, and you acknowledge that which is real and eternal! Be irritated by others' short-comings - and you waste time being angry with fleeting shadows. Be true to your real self!
Priest of Tehuti: Has any companion a question to put to the Candidate, before acceptance into our group?
If so, Companions do so and Candidate replies.
Priest of Lyceum Deity to Candidate: Do you in mind and heart adore Deity? Do you love Isis-Aset, Vesta of our Hearth and our own beloved Goddess (Goddess & God) of this holy Lyceum of the College of Isis?
Candidate: I do.
Priest of Lyceum: May our members signify acceptance of this candidate.
Companions: (In turn) I accept this Candidate as a member of our Lyceum.
Priest of Lyceum: (to Candidate) Which Goddess Name (Woman)/ God Name (Man) do you choose, in token of your soul's birth through the Goddess?
Candidate: To the name/s given by my parents, I add the Divine name of ***.
Priest of Lyceum: In the Holy Name of *** (Chosen Name) I declare you a member of our Shemsu, the Lyceum of ***, of Collegium Isidis.
Candidate: I offer incense to the Goddess Vesta! (sprinkles incense on fire). I offer flowers to the Goddess Isis and the God Osiris! (presents flowers) I offer this work created by myself (art, writing, craftwork etc.) for this Lyceum of *** (presents his/her work).
Priest of Lyceum: I accept these gifts for the Temple, in the Name of Vesta, Isis and Osiris and ***.
BESTOWAL OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Music: Scriabin, Mahler, Ravel are suitable.
Priesthood who hide veiled Priestess of Centre stand aside, so she is seen for the first time by Candidate.
Priest Hierophant: O Vesta, grant us Thy favour! In Thy service I open my lips. I was rapt in prayer; I felt the heavenly Deity, and the glad ground gleamed with a purple light. My ignorance was enlightened and my errors corrected without the help of an earthly instructor. Vesta is the same as the Earth; under both of them is a perpetual fire; the earth and the hearth are symbols of the home. The earth is like a ball resting on no prop. Its own power of rotation keeps its orb balanced. What wonder then if a Virgin like unto the earth delights in a Virgin Minister, and allows only chaste hands to touch her sacred things! Conceive of Vesta as a living flame. An undying fire is hidden in Her Temple with its curved dome. Vesta is so called as standing by power. The Hearth, her Focus, is named after her flames.
Priestess of Vesta: (gives Candidate taper) Light this candle from the hearth of Vesta. Share your power and your gifts with others and you will suffer no diminution, but rather add to your store of knowledge, power and happiness.
Candidate lights candle. Priestess of Vesta lays hands over Candidate's head and heart. Warm power may be felt and flame coloured lights seen.
Priestess of Vesta: May Vesta's light brighten your mind and Her Flame warm your heart.
Priest Hierophant: Hear the words of a Priest of Isis to a candidate, as recounted by the Priest-Initiate of Isis and Osiris, Lucius Apuleius: “Now at last you have put into the harbour of peace and stand before the harbour of loving kindness. Rest assured that you are now safe under the protection of the true Fortuna, all-seeing Providence, Whose clear Light shines for all the Gods that are! Rejoice now, as becomes a wearer of white line. Follow Triumphantly in the train of the Goddess Isis, Aset Shemsu. As you enroll yourself in her Holy Order, know that Her service is perfect freedom.”
Priest Hierophant: Let the Candidate read to us all the words of Lucius Apuleius, as newly accepted follower of the Shemsu of Isis.
Candidate: (reads) “The Company accepted me as one of themselves, a loyal devotee of the Great Goddess Isis. Not a single night did I pass, nor even doze off during the day, without some new vision of Her. She always ordered me to be initiated into Her sacred Mysteries, to which I had long been destined. I frequently spoke of this to the High Priest, begging him to initiate me into the Mysteries of the Holy Night. He checked my restlessness, so gently and kindly that I was not in the least discouraged. He explained that the day on which a postulant might be initiated during the Holy Night was always indicated by signs from The Goddess Herself. He said: "The Gates of the Underworld and the Guardianship of Life are in Her hands. By Her grace the Initiates of the Holy Night are born again and restored to new and healthy life.”
Priest Hierophant: When that time comes, my friend, you will be told by Isis.
Priestess Hierophant: These are the words of Isis to Lucius Apuleius, as She appeared to him at night, shining over the sea: “I am Nature, the Universal Mother, Mistress of all the elements, primordial Child of time, Sovereign of all things spiritual, Queen of departed spirits, Queen also of the Deities, the single Manifestation of all Gods and Goddesses that are. Under My protection you shall be happy and glorious, and when at the destined end of your life you attain the Land of Spirits, you shall have frequent occasion to adore Me. From the Elysian Fields you shall see Me shining with a Light as kindly and tender as I show you now.”
Priestess Hierophant: (anoints Candidate's brow with water) May Isis bring you enjoyment of your forgotten immortality! (Silver power may be felt flowing through head and body of Candidate and white light seen. Priestess presents Candidate with Ankh.) Accept this Ankh, the Sign of Life of Isis! (puts Ankh Pendant around neck)
Priestess Hierophant: (presents Candidate with white feather quill-pen) In the Name of the Goddess Maat, accept the White Feather of Truth from the Goddess Maat. May learning not obscure your vision. May ambition not erase your humility!
Priest Hierophant: (presents blank scroll or papyrus to Candidate) In the Name of the God Tehuti of Wisdom, accept this blank scroll! Only with a pure mind that has cast aside prejudice, reflection of the thoughts of others, may you join the Magi!
Candidate is instructed to write his/her new name and proposed work for the Lyceum on scroll with pen.
ORACLE AND MANIFESTATION OF THE GODDESS
Priest Hierophant: Companions of this Lyceum, the Holy Time has come! Power fills our Temple. Let us invoke the Divine Presence of our Goddess among us!
Curtains are drawn. Only light is from three candles on altar. Omnes sit except Priest Hierophant who raises his arms and gives the invocation. Silence. The Priestess Hierophant is veiled and in trance and Priest Hierophant protects her aura from interruption. If there is to be no manifestation, the Priestess Hierophant lifts her veil and gives the printed Oracle. If a manifestation is to take place, Companions will observe a quickening in the air like dancing sun-motes or swirling steam. A sphere of light may appear above and behind Priestess Hierophant. The Goddess may appear to clairvoyants or on extremely rare occasions, materialize for a short while.
Priestesses, Priests and Companions give reports on any experiences, visual or auditory, received from the Goddess during the Holy Time.
Meditation on Oracle and on work of Lyceum, including use of talents of new member. Rays of friendship are sent forth to sister Lyceums all over the world. Discussion on future plans.
Companions welcome new member of Lyceum. Wine, fruit-juice and bread are blessed. Feast. New member is toasted. Books and manuscripts are exchanged.
THANKSGIVING AND BLESSING
Priesthood Hierophants give thanks and blessing given to Vesta, tutelary Goddess, (Goddess and God), Isis and Osiris, Maat, Tehuti, Astraea, Hermes and Anubis.
Priest of Anubis: Let us go forth with the Divine Blessing.
Sources: “The Golden Ass,” Apuleius, translation by Robert Graves, Penguin Books, and translation by William Adlington, 16th Century. “Fasti,” Ovid, translation by Frazer, Harvard Heinemann. “Juno Covella,” (entries for ‘Vesta,’ 9th and 15th June,) Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Cesara Publications.
9. CONSECRATION OF A HIEROPHANT
ORACLE OF THE GODDESS PALLAS ATHENA
Priest Hierophant: (Invocation) Pallas Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, come to Your Daughter now that she may be inspired by Thy Divine Spirit! Endow us with Thy Wisdom and Thy Might that Thy ancient glories may once more shine before the world!
Oracle: (through Priestess Hierophant) It has been written that the Iron Age should prevail over the earth bringing with it suffering, toil and evil, through neglect of the Deities. Its darkness is not the holy night of the Owl of Wisdom, but the limitation of ignorance. Its light is the transient glow that comes from superficial knowledge gained from curious, probing, rather than the spiritual illumination that emanates from the Deities. It was not necessary for the world of men to choose the Age of Iron; but destiny that the choice be offered. For what goodness is there in worshipping the Gods and Goddesses when They reveal Themselves easily to all? It is simple to satisfy curiosity, but the labour of years of experience to gain wisdom! Sentiment is pleasant but passing: the warmth of love is ever-renewing.
Understand the meaning of what I am, and you will gain comprehension of your own lives and destiny. I am not divided against Myself: Bright Pallas with her Spear of Light does not war with the Dark Owl of Night. Nor do the terrible flames of the Inner Sun that are Veiled upon My shield attack Athena, the Teacher of philosophy and the arts. I am Holy. Be Ye Holy. Be at peace within yourselves and cease from your philosophical warring! In verity the catastrophes of the Iron Age are due to deep division between mortals and the Deities; between mankind and nature; and between differing ideas which are but the quivering reflections of absolute truth.
The veil upon My Shield is beginning to wear thin, and the glory of the Rays of Medusa become apparent to earthly gaze! The inner power of the atom has been violently exposed, and reduces the physical body to the shadow which in verity it is. My Spear of Light brings Divine Inspiration to the mind, while My Owl carries messages of warning from the dark Rulers of the universe, which will be known to be what it is: whole and perfect. On your troubled earth mortals struggle and learn through harsh experience to, put on Immortality; which in truth is latent in each creature. A bird knows more of Elysium than doth mankind! Do not reject any aspect of the universe, but recognise it as part of a glorious pleroma in which even suffering and evil are transformed through wisdom into good. Listen for My Voice. I speak in the silence.
(N.B. The Priestess Hierophant may channel an Oracle through trance)
Priestess Hierophants wear crowns and hold sistrums in Ankh form. Priest Hierophants wear Egyptian mitres and hold crooks. All wear pectorals. Magi wear star robes, Maga star crowns, Magus, star headdresses. Companions wear robes in colours of the Lyceum and lamens of the Lyceum symbol. Psychopompos wears the insignia of Hermes and bears the Caduceus. Guardian as Anubis by doors. Altar with lighted candles, incense, oil, nearby are Candidate's crown or mitre, pectoral, sistrum or crook. Outside temple door stands the Candidate in priestly attire save for headdress and wand/staff, with two Priestesses and two Priests.
1st Priest knocks three times on doors.
Priest Hierophant: Who claims admittance to this holy Temple of ***.
Hermes: A Priestess/ Priest of our Lyceum who seeks Consecration as Hierophant.
Priest Hierophant: Let her/him be admitted!
Guardian opens doors. Hermes conducts Candidate’s procession before Priest and Priestess Hierophant guided by Hermes.
Priestess Hierophant: (shakes sistrum and uplifts it) I invoke the Goddess Isis and the Goddess *** of this Lyceum. Holy Isis and ***, be amongst us for the consecration of this Priestess /Priest as Hierophant of the College of Isis. Bring her/him Your vocation.
Priest Hierophant: (uplifts crook) I invoke the God Osiris and the God *** of this Lyceum. Divine Osiris and ***, inspire her/him for your Divine Service.
Priest Hierophant: What spiritual gifts has the Candidate to offer?
Hermes from a scroll reads the encomium of the candidate.
Priest Hierophant: (to Magi and Companions) Is the Candidate acceptable as Hierophant?
1st Maga: In solemn assembly we have deliberated on the claims of the Candidate to guide and teach, and we accept *** (name of Candidate) as worthy to be Hierophant, dedicated to the aims of our Lyceum.
1st Magus: We have in careful council assessed the character of the Candidate, and deem *** (name of Candidate) worthy to be Hierophant, to show forth the aims of our Lyceum.
Hermes: (to Candidate) Stand forth! (Candidate stands before High Altar. Priestess Hierophant shakes sistrum and anoints him/her on head heart and hands with holy oil) In the Name of Isis and of *** the Goddess/Goddesses of this Lyceum I consecrate you Hierophant!
Priest Hierophant: (places crown/mitre on Candidate's head) With this Crown/Mitre I honour Thy Spirit!
Priestess Hierophant: (places pectoral around shoulders of Candidate) With this Pectoral I consecrate thy heart! (If the Candidate be a Priestess she presents sistrum) Accept the sacred sistrum that you may awaken those who sleep!
Priest Hierophant: (If Candidate be Priest presents crook) Accept the Crook. Care for those committed to your charge!
Candidate is turned by Hermes to face company. Priestess Hierophant and Priest Hierophant on right and left.
Priestess Hierophant: (shakes sistrum) In the Name of Isis and of *** , Goddess of this Lyceum, I declare our Priestess/Priest Hierophant of the College of Isis!
Priest Hierophant: (uplifts crook) In the Name of Osiris and of ***, God of this Lyceum, I declare our Priestess/Priest Hierophant of the College of Isis!
Magi & Companions: (in turn declare) I accept the Consecration of our Priestess/Priest as Hierophant of the College of Isis.
Hermes: May our new Hierophant give us her/his Oration.
New Hierophant gives oration concerning aims for Lyceum.
Reports on plans. Sending forth of Light and Wisdom to the College of Isis, the Fellowship of Isis and to the world. Hierophants give thanks to the Deities invoked. Procession to solemn music out of the Temple. Guardian closes the doors.
Manual Sources: “Sophia, Cosmic Consciousness of the Goddess”, “Panthea, Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess”, Existing leaflets. New material.
COLLEGE OF ISIS CORRESPONDENCE COURSES
Because of the world-wide membership of the Fellowship of Isis, more and more members are asking for Correspondence Magi Degree Courses. The use of telepathy is becoming increasingly prevalent, and overcomes that sense of isolation which can affect the solitary practitioner. The use of the booklet “Maya: Goddess Rites for Solo Use” brings daily devotions which prepare a candidate for further spiritual experience.
To join a Correspondence Course, the candidate should write to a particular Lyceum, chosen from the list printed in each Isian News. Intuition is vital in order to find the most helpful course, both on the part of candidate and Hierophant. Assessment is usually given on essays and other material posted by the candidate. If it is possible, Initiation is given through ritual if the candidate can travel to the Lyceum concerned. Magi degrees are conferred by the Hierophant who can also confer Hierophancy.
The great Initiation comes from the Goddess, who will guide the candidate every day when communion has been established. The College of Isis is an extension on earth of the College of Isis in the inner planes, and so teachings may be given even during the hours of sleep, to be brought to mind in the day.
Back to College of Isis