In honor of the passing of Lady Olivia Robertson last week, a lovely personal experience by Katharine Clark...
Olivia Robertson felt the touch of the Goddess at a very early age. She had experiences of entering altered realities, and seeing both crystal and golden goddesses as a young girl, but didn't fully respond to the “Call of Isis” until much later. Born in London on April 13, 1917 (a Friday the 13th!), she was the second of four children born into a well established Anglo-Irish family. They owned an ancestral castle in Ireland, between the Slaney and Derry rivers outside Enniscorthy, called Clonegal Castle (at times also known as Huntington Castle). During the Irish war for independence, the IRA had used the property as a headquarters, and housed prisoners in its multi-chambered under-croft. When “the troubles” were over, her father moved everyone back to the castle in 1925, when Olivia was eight.
Earlier today I found out that the founder of Fellowship of Isis (FOI), Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson died yesterday. A full bio of her may be found here. http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/oliviarobertson.html. She was 96 and died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family.
Lady Olivia was a remarkable woman, a gifted artist, mystic, and writer. She confounded FOI in 1976 as a multi-religious and multi-cultural order devoted to veneration of Goddesses, as many Goddesses as one could name. She also created two other FOI societies: Druid Clan of Dana and Noble Order of Tara. The focus of FOI was consistently on direct experience of the Divine and FOI liturgy was written with a grace and joy that I have seldom seen equaled. Reading her official biography, I learned a couple of things that I never knew about her: she served as a VAD nurse during WWII and it was right after the war in 1946 that she received her first calling by Isis. This woman lived the better part of her life serving her Gods and when I think about how much the world changed during her lifetime, how it transformed and how Paganisms and Polytheisms began to grow during the latter half of the 20th century, I can't help but stand in awe of her work. She was whimsical and eccentric and never quite seemed fully rooted in this world and she founded an order devoted to the Gods that, in her lifetime, spread across the globe. There are FOI centers in the Americas, Russia, every country in Europe, Japan, and Africa to name but a few.