July 29, 2008

Ishtar of the Starry Heavens

Olivia Robertson's latest booklet, "Ishtar of the Starry Heavens" is available to be read in full in the Liturgy section, and now includes all Olivia's added introductions and illustrations. It has also been included on the FOI Publications List for direct ordering from the Foundation Center:

Ishtar of the Starry Heavens
FOI Publications List

July 21, 2008

Well Initiation

From Olivia Robertson, Co-Founder, FOI
Written By: Archdruidess Minette Quick
July 21, 2008

Yesterday Olivia and I sat together in the sunshine down by the river in Bunclody behind one of her favourite restaurants, having spent a splendid day with the camera crew who had come over from Liverpool a second time to film her for a documentary they are doing at present. Together we ruminated over the events of the weekend, starting with the marvellous time we had at our Festival of the Twin Stars of Sirius, Isis the Bright Star, Osiris the Dark Star, the Union of Binary Energies - Activities & Stillness, Day and Night - the Uachat and the Horus.

I began to doubt my ability to remember all this and asked her please to jot it down on a little notepad I usually keep with me... We had an Investment of a Knight of the Noble Order of Tara, one of the earliest members of the Fellowship, who wished to keep his identity private. Olivia was delighted at her latest artwork in the Temple, she had painted the figures of Isis and Osiris, in profile, in white, with blue blue eyes, on the windows on either side of Dana in the Star Chapel, which of course can be seen just as clearly, from the High Altar, on either side of the Mother Isis - Hathor, who is twinned now with the Father Osiris in the Healing Chapel where Olivia prays every day for those in trouble. The profiles are exquisite - she had already painted Isis and Osiris, a little smaller, on the window which lights the stairs down to the Temple. Somehow, I had thought that they also looked like Olivia and Derry (her brother Lawrence, of course)! I loved them too! She is so brilliant at this, isn't she?

Anyway, suddenly Olivia announced that now was the time to let you all know about something which happened to her at the end of March, shortly before her 91st Birthday. I happened to phone her niece one morning to be told that Olivia had had an 'accident', she had been down in the Temple, arranging things, as she so loves to do, and she had stepped back onto the wooden cover over the well, only to have it completely give way under her... The wood was quite rotten...and crashed below her, lodging far down. The Well is 17 feet deep and she plunged right in - the water was well up over her chest and she could barely reach the upper rim with the tips of her fingers, and she hung on there in shock under ground level, for about ten minutes before deciding what she could do. She knew that she would have to get herself out, nobody would even hear her shout. And she did it!! Her nephew had always said that if anybody were to fall in, they could never get themselves out, but Olivia did it. It was quite extraordinary.

She was shaken obviously, and the family certainly gave her brandy and hot drinks and helped her up to a hot bath and bed when she finally appeared in their quarters. But Olivia says now that amongst her family, local friends and neighbours, it has turned out to be the most 'popular', if you can call it that, of all her exploits over the years, and the story has been told and retold with amazement. They just cannot imagine how she did it. Can you? She says actually that even she doesn't know quite how she did it, but as she 'clung on, she says that the Goddess Statue gazed down with 'stone-cold eyes', reminding her in those immortal words of the Liturgy, that "We are with you, but cannot help you" She says: "I gather the message is that the Inner Sun helps you to help yourself..."

She naturally did not want to worry you about all this, and indeed she has totally recovered and is in terrific form and full of life as ever. However, as the story has been spreading like wildfire and she will be travelling to the US before too long, she felt it would be good to let you know all about it. And, as her niece said to me when first she told me.. "You'll never believe what Olivia said when she had got out and came in to us... (Honestly in my heart, for an instant before she told me, I knew what it would be!!!):

"I had always been told that you cannot be a true Druid,
unless you have been initiated by total immersion in a well!!!"

Old Well Cover pictured first - New Well Cover second
1st photo © O. Robertson - 2nd photo © M.Q.

Additional note & photo from Olivia:
"Our Well is associated with St. Bridget (the Goddess Brigid) and its outlet is by our ancient healing Bullawn Stone that heals warts. Local visitors use the water for Healing. Our members find anointing it on the brow helps to activate the 3rd eye. I use it always for this purpose in ceremonies. I was told by a Wise Man that to be a true Druid the candidate had to be immersed in a Well.

"I noticed my unexpected Well Initiation was described by myself well in advance in the 127 Isian News Brigantia issue, page 8. Elaine is being advised by a Wise Woman. . . 'Why not stop thinking, shut your eyes and walk backwards?” How absurd! I burst out laughing, yet without thinking I shut my eyes and walk backwards *** I fall heavily and hit my head on the ground. But there is no ground. I am falling down a shaft. I scream and struggle. It is hopeless. So I let it happen ***'

Elaine and I both got out! So all is well!"

New Well Cover - The Eye of Vision