Fellowship of Isis History Archive - 10th Anniversary of the College of Isis
The Star of Ishtar Diagram
The 10th Anniversary of the College of Isis
Editorial. Isian News, Issue No. 81, Summer, 1996
Written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson
To feel the atmosphere of the beginning of our College of Isis, I studied my notes taken at the time, and Isian News. An invitation was sent out by my brother and myself to all the Iseums, inviting them to form Lyceums, and, when they felt they had achieved 4 Magi degrees, to become Hierophants. At the outset we emphasised that Hierophants had no more important standing than the Priesthood - nor that Lyceums had more status than Iseums. The college provided a course using the Fellowship liturgy for those who choose this path. It is best to let the first Hierophants speak for themselves from 10 years ago:
The Rev. Anne Morris, Prs. H. from the Lyceum of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth comments: "We would like very much to have a Fellowship Friendship group within my centre. It would be lovely to have a real link-up as we all belong to one Fellowship."
The Rev. Sandra and James Beard, our first Hierophants in England, reported from their Lyceum of Isis and Nephthys: "We performed a full ritual. I felt the Goddess had come within me! What a lovely experience it was! Until Isis came into my life, I had never heard of the Goddess. Now how happy I am that I have. How I love working with her and being a Priestess in the FOI. When Jim was interviewed for becoming a Justice of the Peace, he told them about his work with the Fellowship of Isis."
The Rev. Kati Koppana reported from the Lyceum of the Star Goddess in Finland: "Being a hard-boiled skeptic I don't usually see visions, but here it is: It was Samhain and I was meditating, when a dark form materialised before me. She was a woman, though I could not see her face. In front of her stood a child faintly outlined in silver light. Above the child's head, upon the breast of the mother, was a pyramid with the Eye of Horus in it."
A clear exposition of the work of the College of Isis came from the Revs. Werner Laesen and Ulrika Werner from the Nuit-Isis Lyceum in Germany. "It was very interesting to read in the Introduction to "Sophia" about the inspiration given as to the use of the degrees. Our members often feel alone. People can receive Magi degrees - something worth caring for. The Hierophants arrange for progressive initiations. The rituals can be worked through the Isian Liturgy. I feel this was planned by Isis, that all our endeavours were for establishing this grand system of development."
At the time that Sandra and Jim Beard founded the first English Lyceum, the first in Scotland - the Lyceum of Brighid - came into being with Rev. Swami Prem Sudheer, which now has a wide influence and a brilliant correspondence course: "Our Bealtaine celebration was a success. In the evening we performed "The Mystery of Eros and Psyche" from "Dea." Psyche is undergoing the initiation into adult life. We added some extra narrative materials from Apuleius, and in this way everyone had a part to play - even my daughter Zoe was one of the golden sheep."
Another floruishing Lyceum of Isis and Ceridwen was founded by Rev. Kavina-Khandem Collyns: "The centre is taking form slowly. We leave it to her to guide us. I have sent forth a declaration stating who we are and our objectives in the hope of reaching all or some of those who may be seeking a way to the Great Mother."
A beautiful tribute as made by our first USA Hierophant, the Rev. Morgan Benedict to Nancy Ward. In her Lyceum of the Veiled Isis: "We dedicated a shrine to the first American Goddess of the Fellowship, since the native Americans and the "white man." Nancy Ward was priestess and a Goddess sent to us. We took candles in the Star-Rite and placed them on the stones of her grave. It was truly inspiring to share this time spiritually with all FOI members."
Perhaps the most moving account of what the College of Isis means came from the Rev. Kenneth Arflame from his Lyceum Alchymeia and Tomegatherion'Ra, in Zimbabwe: "In our particular situation, it is most appropriate to have a Lyceum, as we are alone here as followers of the Goddess. The degrees give us confidence, and we are gaining more members. If all keep going, cut off as we are, we shall be able to claim ourselves true pioneers of Truth, Goodness and Moderation, not only by degrees, but by our work. The Truth of Maat declares war upon injustice. We shall persevere and the Will of Isis will prevail."
10 years later, as the Space Age dawns, we join with this manifesto from Zimbabwe. The divine plan of Isis is beginning to manifest all over the earth.
The founding of the College of Isis was officially announced in Isian News, Summer, Issue No. 37, 1986. Below is a list of the First Hierophants and Lyceums in the College of Isis:
Rev. Anne Morris, Prs. H. Lyceum of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth
Rev. Sandra and James Beard, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis and Nephthys, UK
Rev. Vivienne O’Regan, Crys O’Regan, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis-Sophia of the Stars, Warwickshire, UK (Vivienne was the founder of this lyceum, which originally operated in London)
Rev. Steve Wilson, Caroline Wise, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis of Time & Space, London, UK (Caroline later founded Isis of the Thames Lyceum in London)
Rev. Kati Koppana, Hierophant, Lyceum of the Star Goddess, Finland
Revs. Werner Laesen and Ulrika Werner, Hierophants, Nuit-Isis Lyceum, Germany
Rev. Swami Prem Sudheer, Hierophant, Lyceum of Brighid, Scotland
Rev. Kavina-Khandem Collyns, Hierophant, Lyceum of Isis and Ceridwen, UK
Rev. Morgan Benedict, Hierophant, Lyceum of the Veiled Isis, USA
Rev. Kenneth Arflame, Hierophant, Lyceum Alchymeia and Tomegatherion'Ra, Zimbabwe