Fellowship of Isis History Archive - FOI in Southeastern USA
Photo from "Clonegal Castle" by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson
Left to right: Morgan Benedict (Morgan Le Fey) of “Lyceum of the Veiled Isis”, Atlanta, Georgia,
FOI Co-Founders Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, Olivia Robertson,
Karin Aziz of London, newly ordained,
and Shasta Zaring of “Lyceum of the Cosmic Isis and Sekhmet”, Atlanta, Georgia
The FOI in the Southeastern United States
by Maury White-Hereford, Prs. H.
Lyceum of the Mystery of Isis and Osiris
New Orleans, Louisiana
So that I may honor my lineage, I will give a brief history of those Priestesses who came before me. I was initiated, ordained and consecrated by Lady Iris Bradley (Sierke) of “Isis, Star of the Delta”, who on July 27, 1987 was ordained by Lady Shasta Zaring of the “Lyceum of the Cosmic Isis and Sekhmet” in Atlanta, Georgia. Lady Shasta was ordained by Lady Morgan Le Fay of the “Lyceum of the Veiled Isis” [founded in 1986]. After Lady Iris’s Ordination, she established the Iseum, “Isis, Star of the Delta”. In 1988 Lady Iris was consecrated by Ladies Elizabeth Stillman and Nancy Guthrie of the lyceum, “Nana and Inanna” at Lady Deborah Nix’s (“Isis of Philae”) ordination in Destin, Florida. In 1988 “Isis, Star of the Delta” became a lyceum that is still in effect today.
I met Iris at Lady Marianne Sansing’s ordination on Earth Day in New Orleans in 1989. What I saw and felt was the fulfillment the spiritual vision I had foreseen for myself. The rite took place on a manicured lawn, but after the rite, a beautiful purple flower had come up on the spot where the ordination had taken place. My Path was before me. After the rite, I asked her where I could sign up. She told me a little about the Fellowship, but went on to say I should think about this commitment and if I decided it was something I truly wanted I would have to ask her two more times. Iris lives in Mobile, Alabama and she was in town for only a couple of days. By the time she left, she had been asked her three times.
On Sept. 27, 1990, I was ordained by Iris in Mobile, Alabama. My daughter, LaVallon, who was 8 years old, and myself drove to Mobile in our VW Popup (camper). That night we slept in the camper. It seemed I had only been asleep a few minuets when I heard a resounding crack that shook the camper. I turned to LaVallon and asked her if she had heard it. She confirmed that she had. I rose up and looked out the back of the camper. It was dawn and the beginning day of my life as a Priestess. At that moment, I understood the expression “the crack of dawn”. In that same year, I established the “Iseum of the Winged Isis of Awakening”.
Over the next year and a half, I started enacting rites and gathering others of like mind. In 1992 on a dark and windy night I was consecrated by Iris in Mobile, on her deck, beneath her 200-year-old Live Oak. My iseum became a lyceum and I continued in my path to teach the Mysteries of the Goddess. In 1993, I was selected by Lady Olivia to attend the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, Illinois as a delegate and participant in the rite “Isis of 10,000 Names”. Marianne Sansing Initiated Cathryn and subsequently Cathryn and I drove to Chicago to attend. The first meeting the day after the opening ceremony was between the Shiites and the Sunis. The expressed purpose was to discuss their differences and to attempt to come to some resolutions. The Chicago police were called to put an end to their dialogue. After they were sent to their rooms, the Native American contingent smudged the meeting room. We were all very grateful.
Approximately a year later on the night I ordained Lady Cathryn I met Daniel H. Campbell. Subsequently Iris ordained Daniel and he was later consecrated by Lady Olivia. Shortly after Cathryn’s ordination, we decided to combine our iseum and lyceum under Cathryn’s then iseum “Font of Isis”. Cathryn and I collaborated until which time Daniel was ordained, the three of us continued together until 2002, and on September 8, 2002, Daniel and I opened our lyceum, “The Mystery of Isis and Osiris”.
In October of 2003, Lady Olivia was visiting in New Orleans. On October 29, Lady Olivia’s vision of the Spiral of Alchemy was made manifest. Lady Cathryn was initiated, then on Samhain Daniel and I were initiated. Because the Spiral of Alchemy came into being on my birthday, Lady Olivia bestowed the original drawing of the spiral upon me. From September 8, 2002 to August 29, 2005, we continued our Lyceum work.
Hurricane Katrina scattered us to the winds. In 2008, we re-opened our lyceum in New Orleans, but remained solitary in our spiritual work. Now we are turning our energies outward and devoting the work of our lyceum to service in the larger spiritual community.
You may contact Maury at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from Linda Iles: Morgan Le Fey or Morgan Benedict, cited above, is mentioned in the VHS documentary “The Occult Experience” (1987). In the documentary, FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson tells a story about ordaining Morgan over the telephone! Morgan attended the first FOI Convocation put on by Loreon Vigne on the grounds of Isis Oasis in October of 1990. Morgan was among the first to create a lyceum after the founding of the College of Isis in 1986. According to records maintained at Clonegal Castle, her "Lyceum of the Veiled Isis" was the first one founded in the United States.
With thanks to Rev. Edward Livingston, Pr.H., SA, PA, ArchDruid, of Temple of Antinopolis in Florida. Edward pointed out that Morgan was mentioned by Olivia Robertson in “The Occult Experience.”
From Michael A. Starsheen: “I came in toward the middle of that history, through Deborah Nix's Lyceum of Isis of Philae. I remember vividly one time when our group traveled to New Orleans to participate in a mystery drama with Maury and some of the other New Orleans FOI; it might have been in 1994. I don't remember which drama we performed, but do remember holding it in a large open park. I also remember that it was Mardi Gras, and I had my first experience with the African deities drumming Lent in with Maury and others from the New Orleans group around dawn on Ash Wednesday. That's when I met Elaine and Catherine, as well. Elaine [Kolp] came to visit my temple in 1995, when I first consecrated it as the Lyceum of Isis of the Stars. She was its first member. Then I moved to California in 1996 ..."