Mirror of Isis - An Official Fellowship of Isis Publication

Author's Niche

COVER: Volume V, Issue 3, Samhain 2010
Table of Contents
The Wild and Grassy Slope
We Honor the Earth
The Berwyn Mountains of Poetic Adventure
The Coming of the Cailleach
An Isian Midwinter Meditation
Wenet the Swift One: Hare Goddess of Ancient Egypt
Awakening of Aengus Og and Tara Rite
Druid in the Garden
Ancient Egyptian Creation Myths
Announcements: From Olivia Robertson
REPORT: Convocation of the Fellowship of Isis at the Temple of Isis 2010
REVIEW: Avalonian Aeon
MUSES SYMPOSIUM: Bentreshyt: Harp of Joy
Hestia's Hearth Fires
Shadow Queen
Hymn to Isis
Prayer to Isis
Correspondent's Reflections
Mark Your Calendar
Staff and Contact Information
Archive of Past Issues
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“Companions of the Groves within the Druid Clan of Dana see through the worldly veil and discover the ever living earth, Body of the Goddess.” - Olivia Robertson, co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis and the Druid Clan of Dana

Cover for "Universal Alchemy" from a painting by Michael A. Starsheen

Universal Alchemy
by Michael A. Starsheen
ArchPriest, ArchDruid and Hierophant, Fellowship of Isis
Lyceum of Isis of the Stars
Grove of Shasta Rising
Review by Linda Iles, ArchDrs.
The back cover of this book contains the following: “Michael Starsheen has long been a student of nature and ways to better attune oneself with the energies and etheric beings present in the world around us. This book is an intense series of meditations to perform inner alchemy for a close rapport with nature.”

Although Michael’s intent when writing this book was to present a series of meditations for Inner Alchemy of the Soul, the exercises within can be easily adapted for use by anyone who is interested in attuning to nature, whatever their path. This is why his book was chosen to be featured in this issue of the Mirror of Isis, which is dedicated to the Druid Clan of Dana and Nature's Magic.

So many people have to work hard nowadays, very hard to attune to nature, because most are not fortunate enough to live in a natural setting, some not even close enough to easily drive, walk or travel to a place of scenic natural beauty. In our day to day lives, many of us are caught up in the routine of a nine to five job, we might not even be able to appreciate a sunrise or a sunset. Those that live in the city might not be able to fully appreciate the stars, for the glare of light pollution at night obscures many of them from view.

Michael’s book was written after he had personally gone out into nature, and attuned with the various elements and etheric beings. He is blessed to live in Dunsmuir, a town near Mt. Shasta. Panoramic views, forest and rivers are not far from his domestic residence. His work has the clarity and practical quality of someone who has really done the work personally - and he has! Making contact with natural forces becomes ‘elemental’ (shameful pun here). For instance, of connecting with the energies of water, he writes:

“…if all you have is a bottle of spring water, you can still make contact with the lesser elementals… Once you‘ve made contact, make the Pact with them. The Pact is some variation of “I pledge to work with you to protect and preserve this water that we share, to the betterment of all beings of the water.” Although this is more of a Druidic magic than an alchemical one, it is also a transformative one, in that it connects you to the rest of the aware beings of the planet.”

Universal Alchemy contains exercises for centering and grounding. It includes a section on the alchemy of each of the four classic elements, earth, air, fire and water, along with four exercises for each element. Also included are attunements and exercises for storms, ocean, mountain, desert, forest, the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets. Although Alchemic in slant, Michael’s gift of synthesizing different informational sources into something new, makes his work highly adaptable for personal use in a variety of disciplines and traditions, including that of Druidry.

Michael says about his book: "Universal Alchemy is also a Druidic book because Druidry is involved in attunement to the forces and cycles of Nature. There is a bit of an overlap between Alchemy and Druidry. The Path of a Druid is not limited to a study of Nature, it is a study of inter-relationships."

Michael is ArchDruid and Founder of the Grove of Shasta Rising of the Druid Clan of Dana. His hope for his grove is that it will continue to grow and raise awareness of the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own, local areas. He writes: “Everyone can begin with his or her own backyard! It is small, manageable, and if everyone started there, we’d add up to a real difference. There is unity in smallness, in acting together…”

So where to start? Well, you can begin with a cup of earth and a bottle of water.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Michael's book, it is available at his storefront at lulu.com. His storefront also contains a listing for his other book, "Mythic Voices" and his artwork: www.lulu.com/Starsheen

Cover, "Walking An Ancient Path" a book by Karen Tate

Walking An Ancient Path
Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth
by Karen Tate
Priestess and Adept, Fellowship of Isis
Iseum of Isis Navigatum
Founder, The Isis Ancient Cultures Society
A Review with Comments by Linda Iles, ArchDrs.

"I warmly recommend "Walking An Ancient Path" by Karen Tate, to all who seek to experience the Feminine Divine. For 3,000 years the Male Archetype has prevailed. Now that our earth is in danger from male-dominated mechanistic science, the time has come for Goddess Priestesses like the Rev. Karen Tate to help restore the feminine balance of Life and Love." -  Olivia Robertson, Archpriestess, Co-Founder of the Fellowship of Isis

The Sacred Feminine, whether viewed as an archetype, ideology or heavenly deity, has been stripped from our cultures, religions and psyches for several millennia. But we are starting to remember its roots and origins. She is the missing piece of the spiritual, cultural and political puzzle that can address the human conditions of suffering that plagues the planet. Writing from the heart, Tate's enthusiasm, passion for justice, and vision of love and enlightenment is personified in the concept of the Sacred Feminine. Thus she aids readers both new and familiar with Goddess to reawaken this knowledge, to experience once again the nurturing arms of the Mother, and perhaps help humankind to save itself.

From Linda Iles: I've had the honor of knowing Karen Tate for several years. The first time we met was at Isis Oasis, in the dining pavilion while attending the Fellowship of Isis Convocation in 1997. Since that time, I've watched Karen's work grow in both depth and scope within the Goddess community. She maintains a high level of professionalism and is impeccable in all she does - in other words she only gives to her Goddess work the best effort possible. If you have the opportunity to attend one of Karen's lectures please go - you will be in for a real treat. Academics have said of her lectures that if anyone could mainstream awareness of the Goddess it would be those of the calibre she produces. Her books, like her lectures, are written with detailed references, the result of painstaking research. Karen draws not only on the more usual types of references, but from a wide circle of resources in related fields, which has gained her recognition amongst scholars. You will read her books and refer to them again and again. She is a valuable asset to the Goddess community.

You may learn more about Karen's work as priestess, author and lecturer at her website: http://www.karentate.com/index.html

The Gods Within:
The Pagan Pathfinders Book of God and Goddess Evocations
Jean M. Williams and Zachary Cox
Moondust Books Ltd.
A Review by Caroline Wise
Jean Williams is an early member of the Fellowship of Isis. She and her partner Zachery Cox have been active in the pagan world for more than forty years. They launched Pagan Pathfinders in 1975, and have been running it weekly since.

Zachary Cox traces his magical journey from an early teenage interest in science fiction, through the Theosophical Society and Qabalah to his invitation to Brickett Wood, where he met Gerald Gardner and his coven.

Jean and Zac witnessed the evolution of the pagan movement through the 1960s and 70s when many were looking east with the Beatles. With the opening of the ‘Doors of Perception’ there was a hunger for a meaningful and engaging spiritual life. Jean had explored the Human Potential movement, but there was little overlap then between this and the emerging western paganism and the rich mythic heritage of the West. 

Pagan Pathfinders, for whom these evocations were created, was designed to be a synthesis of pagan spiritual practice and humanistic psychology. In 1977 Jean and Zach went on to found the Companions of the Rainbow Bridge (of which quite a few members were early Fellowship members) to offer training in ritual persona and writing.

Now both in their 70s, this book is the first in “Our attempts to harvest the fruits of those years and share them with a wider public”.

The series of evocations here were received by the authors and used as part of a technique they called ‘God-Casting’, evoking the qualities of a particular god or goddess within a person, with visualisation, meditation and relaxation exercises for use within their group. 

The authors explain the difference between invocation and evocation, something too often overlooked, and make a point that this reviewer found especially valuable: “The archetypes are universal and there is no reason why god qualities should not be evoked in women or goddess qualities evoked in men.”

The context in which the evocations can be used is discussed, including the responsibility of their use. This includes considering the effects the evocations may have on others, and how it not always positive to over-identify with a particular god or goddess. “The objective is to empower through balance”.

A brief but integral essay on the qualities of the divinity prefaces each exquisite evocation. Skilfully written, for me these essays acted as acclimatising visualisations. When I read “Artemis loved to dance with her nymphs on the banks of some mountain stream.” I can see this playing out in front of me. And with “Her music was the sound of running water, the breeze in the trees, birdsong…” I can hear it. The scene setting essays lay a path towards an effective evocation. You are already enthused with the essence of the divinity. 

The evocations are free of sentimentality and vacuous new-age talk. They are in ‘Plain English’, which enhances their poetry and keeps our focus. We are not pixie-led by flowery meandering. They use a lightness of touch to reach the god’s within. 

Complimentary incenses are suggested to aid the contact and experience of each evocation.

I heard Jean recently recount her experience in the period that she was bringing the Bast evocation into manifestation. She became aware of all the lovely qualities of cats, and, “Then suddenly I realised I had these Claws!”

Bast Evocation

by Jean M Williams

“Hail Bast, Lady of Grace and Beauty, Mistress of the Light and Dark, who art the Eye of Ra in the places of night. Thou art throned in the Splendour of thy great temple and in the heart of every home. Thy right hand shakes aloft the sistrum, calling us to dance and joyous laughter. Thy left holds the aegis of protection to thy breast and around thy feet kittens play. Thy voice is the yowl of defiance, the croon of pleasure, the deep purr of delight and intimacy.

Come then on silent feet, Oh Huntress of the Night, stalking the small and timorous fears that nibble away our soul’s nourishment. Let all evil and venomous creatures beware of thy sharp claws.

Yet art thou still our companion by the hearth, the bringer of solace, the healer and comforter.

Wherever the body is alive to sensation and pleasure, and every moment of life is lived to the full, with zest and courage,

Wherever women give birth in joy and hope, and children laugh and play,

Wherever the rhythmic sound of a purr bring cessation of grief and effort,

Thy voice is heard and thy presence felt.

By soft fur and sharp claws,

By pricked ears and tail held high,

By grace and charm and delicacy,

By the mystery of the night and the glory of the new day,

I call upon Thee to Be with us. 


About this Book: Moondust Books is the publishing company owned by Meredith MacArdle, a member of Elen of the Green Ways Lyceum. The Gods Within can be ordered direct from www.moondustbooks.biz  Please contact them for details of payment methods and shipping costs. It is also available from Treadwell's Bookshop: http://www.treadwells-london.com/


Editor's Note: The Evocation to Bast was printed here with permission of the publishers and is copyrighted material.


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