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An Elder Passes: Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson 1917-2013

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. 

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you for these lovely and heartfelt words.

Day Two, Session Five, was a panel on Bringing Pagan Sensibilities into Classroom Pedagogy, and featured Zayn Kassam, Jennifer Rycenga, and Dorothea Kahena Viale. 

Jennifer Rycenga's talk, "Richard Jeffries and F.C. Happold: The Presumption of Nature's Naïveté," introduced us to the work of English nature writer and mystic Richard Jeffries.  She quoted some beautiful passages of his soul's awakening from The Story of My Heart. available online at Project Gutenberg.

Dorothea Kahena Viale described her current teaching innovations at Cal Poly-Pomona using art, movement, and rhythm in "Drumming, Dancing, Masks and Circles in the Academic Classroom"

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A cross-post this week, if I may - between here at my first blog 'home', and the wonderfully eclectic 'Witches & Pagans' site (because if you can't 'moonlight' as a Pagan, then who can?).

I am very aware that I haven't written anything at either location for a couple of weeks. I could give excuses - ultimately, the days have flown past and life has been more important. I'm sure we all know how that goes. Instead, take a wander with me, if you will.

Regular readers know that one of my favourite places for inspiration is as I walk the dog across the hilltop where I live. This evening I wandered the streets, looking out at the fierce clouds parting after an intense rain and thunder-storm just a few hours ago, the remnants of a rainbow, and the slightly 'stunned' feeling of a normal, modern, country village after a violent and unavoidable incident of Nature. The grass is rich and green, the snails appear to have made a small bypass across the path outside one particular row of houses, and the occasional early bat is swooping overhead.

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