Druid Clan of Dana - Admission, Courses, Rites, Grades
The Star of Ishtar
This spiral of 32 degrees is the basis for coursework which centers on the Fellowship of Isis liturgy. For more information please visit the Star of Ishtar Origin and Creation page featured in the navigation bar. Each numbered circle on the Star of Ishtar diagram corresponds to a point on the diagram which intersects time and space, corresponding to the position of an FOI liturgy ritual.
According to Olivia Robertson, within the Druid Clan of Dana the four levels of consciousness formed by the coils of the Goddess Tiamat are corresponded to these Goddesses, as outlined in "The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation":
Level 1. Morrigan, corresponds to Alma Mater (Gateway of the Sidhe. Earth)
Level 2. Dana, corresponds to Flamma Vestae (Paths of Sun and Moon. Sky)
Level 3. Brigid, corresponds to Porta Mystica (Facing the Goddess. Water)
Level 4. Dana, corresponds to Dulce Domum (Land of Heart's Desire. Initiation)
"Degrees are acquired under the tutelage of a Hierophant of the College of Isis. Hierophants are the College Preceptors. All degrees within every system of study - Iseums, Lyceums, Groves and Priories must be directed by a teacher who is first consecrated as a Hierophant in the College of Isis." - Olivia Robertson, FOI Co-Founder, College of Isis Co-Founder
Admission, Rites and Grades of a Druid Clan of Dana Grove
The Druid Clan of Dana of the Fellowship of Isis was founded in 1992. “The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation.” was published in 1992. The first Groves of the Druid Clan of Dana were founded that same year (1992), most notably the Grove of the Four Elements of London, which counted John Merron, Caroline Wise and Steve Wilson as founding members. Many FOI Druid Clan of Dana Groves were in operation for several years before guidelines for coursework structure were created.
FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson has stated that the work of all FOI centres, including their individual coursework, ordinations, consecrations and certification of degrees is honored. There can be no ‘rigid laws’ as exist in hierarchic Churches and Orders. Heads of centers rely on psychic consensus of the group and guidance through intuition and the manifestation of particular attributes of the Deity or Deities concerned in their centre, therefore there can be no set curriculum. Thus, heads of centres, through inspiration from their particular Deity or Deities, produce their own training course, which is based on the principles of the Fellowship of Isis Manifesto and the oracles and/or rituals of the FOI liturgy.
Olivia writes: "Centres are not run as automatons. A spiral of rites can be created by each teaching centre, even customized to each student. We must respect the individuality and unique gifts of every member. Nothing was ever meant to be written in stone."
"Many heads of centres have had long experience in the spiritual field and choose to create their own course. The following is intended as a suggestion for those others, who desire guidelines for the forming of a course." - Olivia Robertson, original College of Isis Manual
(*) Sources: Original Fellowship of Isis Handbook (1992). Original College of Isis Manual (1992).
Olivia writes: "Lawrence’s enhanced consciousness, like my own, involved sensitivity to symbolism. We recognised the inner significance of ritual, gesture, sound, colour and image. We discovered a way to reach the Heart of the Mysteries by combining intellectuality with intuition - we had discovered the Wisdom Path of the Mother. This cosmic language of Deity could be encountered by entering a meditative state, where etheric communication through sound, vision, rituals and Mysteries took place. This communication transcended conflict and dogma. The reason? It came from a central divine matrix where conflict could not exist. Communion with Deity brought Paradise to earth through escape of the effects of dogma.
Many groves have members who like to practice seasonal rites and simple attunements with nature - others wish to follow a more structured course that includes initiations of the Mysteries through study of the liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis.
ArchDruid/esses of the Druid Clan of Dana are familiar with the Cosmic Language of Deity. Therefore, they are Preceptors of study of the liturgy within the Druid Clan of Dana. The ArchDruid/ess, through experience of the Mysteries, has developed the ability to interpret the Cosmic Language of symbol, color and image. The ArchDruid/ess acts as Guide and Interpreter - as Preceptor - to bring others through the mysteries of the liturgy.”
ADMISSION INTO A GROVE
FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson suggests DCD Groves to use an adaptation of "Flamma Vestae" for Admission into a Grove, as this is the basic initiation rite into an FOI center. "The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation” is used for initiation the grade of Druid into a Grove. Heads of groves may base their coursework on any number of rites.(see "Initiation and Consecration Rites")
The ritual used for Initial Admission into a Druid Clan of Dana Grove confers the designation of Grove Companion upon an individual who is willing to commit to the work of the Grove.
Preparation for Admittance
Candidates for Admission into a Grove must be members of the Fellowship of Isis and agree to the principles of the Fellowship of Isis Manifesto. If the Candidate has not previously done so, the Candidate should undergo the “Rite of Rebirth” which is the basic initiation rite of the Fellowship of Isis. It is suggested that anyone seeking admittance into a Grove is prepared for the rite of admittance by study of the origins of the Druid Clan of Dana and it’s history, along with the origins and history of the Fellowship of Isis and the work of the Grove.
Rite of Admission
The Candidate is admitted into a Grove through a Rite of Admittance. After undergoing the Rite of Admittance the Candidate is deemed a “Companion”. The Rite of Admittance may be adapted from “Flamma Vestae” to honor the pantheon and tradition of the Deities and work of the Grove. Or, an Oracle of Dana written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson may be used in a Rite of Admittance written by the ArchDruidess/ArchDruid of the Grove.
The term “Companion” refers to individuals who are members of a Fellowship of Isis centre (Iseum, Grove, Lyceum, Priory) who have undergone a Rite of Admission. Afterward, the Companion may or may not choose to undergo earning of degrees in a course of study. Companions may undergo admission into a centre simply because they wish to be part of the group. Companions may take part in all activities of the centre as a member, including participation in rituals. They are of equal importance and valued members of any center. The term “Companion” may be used as a general term in various instances to refer collectively to all members of a Fellowship of Isis centre.
Further Course of Study: Becoming a Druid/ess
Those Companions who choose to embark on a further course of study to become a Druid or Druidess in a Grove will be prepared for the following three trials of “The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation”:
1. The Dolmen of the Morrigan: Passage Through the Gateway of the Sidhe.
When the Companion has completed this course of study, a rite based on the Oracle of the Morrigan written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson may be written by the ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove. Or, the rite “Magic of Mars and the Morrigan” may be enacted. The head of the Grove may choose the preferred designation for this level of work in their Grove. This level of study corresponds to earth, represented in nature as stone.
2. The Labyrinth of Dana: Serpent Paths of Sun and Moon.
When the Companion has been completed this course of study, a rite based on an Oracle of Dana written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson may be written by the ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove. Or, the rite “Virgo and Dana” may be enacted. The head of the Grove may choose the preferred designation for this level of work in their Grove. This level of study corresponds to air, represented in nature as sky.
3. The Well of Brighid: Facing the Goddess.
When the Companion has completed this course of study, a rite based on the Oracle of Brighid written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson may be written by the ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove. Or, the rite “Opening the Eye of Vision” may be enacted. The head of the Grove may choose the preferred designation for this level of work in their Grove. This level of study corresponds to water, represented in nature as water.
The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation
After the Companion of the Grove has undergone this final period of study and preparation for these three trials, the Companion is ready to undergo “The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation.”
Choosing a Soul Friend
Immediately before enacting the “The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation” the Companion will be asked to choose a totem or “Soul Friend”.
FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson writes: “The ‘Choice of Soul Friends’ was always used in our own Grove at Clonegal. This discovery of totem animal and other guides has been a matter of secrecy in tribes and clans in most countries. I would ask the candidate: ‘Who is your soul friend among - plants - trees - insects - reptiles - birds - animals - and so forth, extending to angels and Deities … The Candidate for Initiation is asked by an Archdruid/ess to acknowledge his Soul Friend, ranging from insects, reptiles, birds, animals, humans and Deities. This is an ancient Druid Custom which creates a soul link through mediation with one particular creature, thus with the whole species. North American Indians call this finding the Totem Animal.”
Olivia and her brother Lawrence felt it was important to act upon the psychic impressions received at that time. They will come, and may not be what the Companion would have thought.
Investiture with Lunula, Chaplet of Leaves and Wand/Staff
The Companion undergoes "The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation” and is invested with a Lunula, Chaplet of Leaves and Wand/Staff. The Companion is now a Druid in the Druid Clan of Dana.
This completes a course of study and initiation as a Druid into the Druid Clan of Dana, which has taken the Companion through the four levels of the Star of Ishtar for the Druid Clan of Dana as created by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson:
Level 1. Morrigan: Physical - Alma Mater. Awakening to our true relationship to the physical world. Corresponds to earth.
Level 2. Dana: Astral or Psychic - Flamma Vestae. Awakening our psychic gifts. Corresponds to air.
Level 3. Brigid: Spiritual - Porta Mystica. Awakening to our true spiritual path. Corresponds to water.
Level 4. Dana: Land of Heart’s Desire: Divine - Dulce Domum (receiving communion directly from the Divine Source. Corresponds to fire.
After this, the new Druid may choose to embark on further courses of study offered within the Grove to specialise in various types of expertise in Druidry. These include the art of story-telling and poetry; the preserving of an oral tradition within the Grove; study of the principles and moral and ethical guidelines of the Grove and overall Druid community; healing, shamanism, divination, prophecy, ritual and skill in crafts and arts.
After a significant period of study, the Grove Members and presiding ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove may reach consensus that a particular Druidess or Druid of the Grove is prepared to found her/his own Grove. This particular Druidess or Druid will then be eligible to undergo a rite of Consecration written by the presiding ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove. Upon undergoing this rite, the Druid is now an ArchDruidess or ArchDruid in the Druid Clan of Dana and may found their own Grove in the Druid Clan of Dana.
The following rituals from the Fellowship of Isis liturgy are suggested:
The twelve rituals in “Fortuna, Creation Through the Goddess” or, the twelve rituals in “Ishtar of the Starry Heavens” as an alternate set of rituals to those of “Fortuna, Creation Through the Goddess.”
"The Rite of Rebirth" (separate booklet). Basic initiation rite of the Fellowship of Isis.
Rites found in “Dea, Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess”:
Dawn. Rite of Abundance
Evening. Rite of the Five Elements
Spring. Rite of Good Health
Summer. Ritual of the Sun
Autumn. Litany of the Earth
Winter. Star Rite
Rites found in “Melusina, Life Centres of the Goddess”:
Opening the Eye of Vision
Lighting the Rainbow Aura
Rites found in “Panthea, Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess”:
Flamma Vestae (adapted to the Deity/Deities and work of the Grove)
Porta Mystica. The Soul Enters New Spheres
Communion with the World of Spirits
The Tree of Life
Rites found in “Sophia, Cosmic Consciousness of the Goddess”:
Pisces and Cerridwen
Virgo and Dana
Rites found in “Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess”:
Sun Magic of the Life Force
Lunar Magic of the Tides
Earth Magic of Transformation
Magic of Mars and the Morrigan
Groves may provide ritual initiations based on oracles written by Olivia Robertson and FOI Liturgy or on oracles and rituals written by the presiding ArchDruidess or ArchDruid of the Grove. Olivia has stated that any head of a Grove that possesses the oracular gift may substitute their own oracles during a rite. Or their oracles may be added as complementary to Olivia’s provided oracle during the rite. Heads of Groves are encouraged to develop and write their own rituals.
Titles for grades may include Bard, Druid/Druidess and ArchDruidess/ArchDruid as provided by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson in "The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation." Titles for grades may be adjusted to complement the course of study within the Grove. Within the Druid Clan of Dana, a Grove may be dedicated to Deities of any pantheon or tradition. Rites may be adjusted to honor the Deities of the Grove.
This guideline was reviewed and adjusted by Olivia Robertson in the presence of several FOI members at the Nesu House, Isis Oasis, Geyserville, California, Tuesday, October 11, 2011. It is a suggested guideline only. All heads of Groves have full autonomy within their own centres and may structure their coursework as inspired by their tutelary Deity or Deities.
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Star of Ishtar graphic courtesy of Linda Iles, based on a drawing by Chesca Potter. Artwork, photos and graphic are copyrighted. All rights reserved.