College of Isis - General Coursework Guidelines
This spiral of 32 degrees is the basis for coursework which centers on the Fellowship of Isis liturgy. For more information please visit the Star of Ishtar page featured in the navigation bar. Each numbered circle on the Star of Ishtar diagram corresponds to a point on the diagram which intersects time and space, corresponding to the position of an FOI liturgy ritual.
The Four Levels
According to Olivia Robertson, within the College of Isis the four levels of consciousness formed by the coils of the Goddess Tiamat are corresponded as outlined in original "The College of Isis Manual" (1992):
Level 1. Physical - Alma Mater (awakening to our true relationship to the physical world) corresponds to earth
Level 2. Astral or Psychic - Flamma Vestae (awakening our psychic gifts) corresponds to air
Level 3. Spiritual - Porta Mystica (awakening to our true spiritual path) corresponds to water
Level 4. Divine - Dulce Domun (receiving communion directly from the Divine Source) corresponds to fire
The Eight Rays
According to what Olivia has written in the original College of Isis Manual, the eight rays:
“… refer to Time and Measurement. They bring Enlightenment through concentration. Therefore the Candidate using rites on the diagram should choose them in the order most helpful to his or her own chosen Path.
…degrees are attained through Communion with the Deities experienced by the Candidate, and the acceptance of this by Hierophant and the Companions of the particular Lyceum. The 33rd degree is conferred directly by Deity and may be kept as a private initiation.” The 33rd degree is direct communion with Deity without ritual, therefore it is not certified. This also holds true for Iseums offering Adepti degree training.
Traveling the Paths in a Course of Study
The student of the mysteries may travel the paths in various ways such as:
• Inward around the spiral (to gradually awaken union with the Divine Source)
• Outward around the spiral (to bring spiritual gifts into manifestation in our earthly life)
• Along one or more of the rays (to develop union with the Divine using a specific ray of archetypal energy)
Or they may choose a rite that feels resonate, regardless of the order of the rites upon the diagram.
Admission, Rites and Grades of a College of Isis Center
(Iseums & Lyceums)
The College of Isis of the Fellowship of Isis was founded in the spring of 1986. “Flamma Vestae. Initiation into an Iseum” was published in “Panthea: Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess” in 1988. The rite was later adapted for use as the admittance rite for Lyceums in the original College of Isis Manual published in 1992.
The first Iseums of the Fellowship of Isis were founded and announced in the Spring issue of Isian News in 1977. The founding of the College of Isis was officially announced in Isian News, Summer, Issue No. 37, 1986, the first Lyceums were founded immediately afterward.
The first Iseums:
Iseum of Rhiannon of the Wild White Horse, Surrey, UK
Centre of the Silver Crescent, Sussex, UK
Centre of Dana, County Dublin, Ireland
The first Hierophants and Lyceums:
Rev. Anne Morris, Prs. H. Lyceum of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth
Rev. Sandra and James Beard, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis and Nephthys, UK
Rev. Vivienne O’Regan, Crys O’Regan, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis-Sophia of
the Stars, Warwickshire, UK
Rev. Steve Wilson, Caroline Wise, Hierophants, Lyceum of Isis of Time &
Space, London, UK
(Caroline later founded Isis of the Thames Lyceum in London)
Rev. Kati Koppana, Hierophant, Lyceum of the Star Goddess, Finland
Revs. Werner Laesen and Ulrika Werner, Hierophants, Nuit-Isis Lyceum,
Rev. Swami Prem Sudheer, Hierophant, Lyceum of Brighid, Scotland
Rev. Kavina-Khandem Collyns, Hierophant, Lyceum of Isis and Ceridwen, UK
Rev. Morgan Benedict, Hierophant, Lyceum of the Veiled Isis, USA
Rev. Kenneth Arflame, Hierophant, Lyceum Alchymeia and Tomegatherion'Ra, Zimbabwe
FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson has stated that the work of all FOI centres, including their individual coursework, ordinations, consecrations and certification of degrees is honored. There can be no ‘rigid laws’ as exist in hierarchic Churches and Orders. Heads of centers rely on psychic consensus of the group and guidance through intuition and the manifestation of particular attributes of the Deity or Deities concerned in their centre, therefore there can be no set curriculum. Thus, heads of centres, through inspiration from their particular Deity or Deities, produce their own training course, which is based on the principles of the Fellowship of Isis Manifesto and the oracles and/or rituals of the FOI liturgy.
Olivia writes: "Centres are not run as automatons. A spiral of rites can be created by each teaching centre, even customized to each student. We must respect the individuality and unique gifts of every member. Nothing was ever meant to be written in stone."
"Many heads of centres have had long experience in the spiritual field and choose to create their own course. The following is intended as a suggestion for those others, who desire guidelines for the forming of a course." - Olivia Robertson, original College of Isis Manual
(*) Sources: Original Fellowship of Isis Handbook (1992). Original College of Isis Manual (1992).
ADMISSION INTO AN ISEUM or LYCEUM
Preparation for Admittance
Candidates for Admission into an Iseum or Lyceum must be members of the Fellowship of Isis and agree to the principles of the Fellowship of Isis Manifesto. If the Candidate has not previously done so, the Candidate should undergo the “Rite of Rebirth” which is the basic initiation rite of the Fellowship of Isis.
It is suggested that anyone seeking admittance into an Iseum or Lyceum is prepared for the rite of admittance by study of the origin of the Fellowship of Isis and it’s history, along with the work of the Iseum or Lyceum into which the Candidate seeks admittance.
Rite of Admission
FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson suggests Iseums use the rite "Flamma Vestae" for admission into an Iseum. This rite was published in Panthea: Initiations and Festivals of the Goddess”.
“Flamma Vestae” was later adapted for use as an admission rite for Lyceums in the original College of Isis Manual. “Flamma Vestae” is the basic initiation rite into an FOI center.
The Candidate is admitted into through the enactment of “Flamma Vestae”. After undergoing the Rite of Admittance the Candidate is deemed a “Companion”. The Rite of Admittance may an adaptation of “Flamma Vestae” to honor the pantheon and tradition of the Deities and work of the Iseum or Lyceum. Or, an Oracle of the Goddess Vesta written by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson may be used in a Rite of Admittance written by the Head of the Iseum or Lyceum.
Iseum or Lyceum Companion
The term “Companion” refers to individuals who are members of a Fellowship of Isis centre (Iseum, Grove, Lyceum, Priory) who have undergone a Rite of Admission. Afterward, the Companion may or may not choose to undergo earning of degrees in a course of study. Companions may undergo admission into a centre simply because they wish to be part of the group. Companions may take part in all activities of the centre as a member, including participation in rituals. They are of equal importance and valued members of any center. The term “Companion” may be used as a general term in various instances to refer collectively to all members of a Fellowship of Isis centre.
Further Course of Study
Those Companions who choose to embark on a further course of study within an Iseum or Lyceum will be prepared and trained using the Fellowship of Isis liturgy recommended for use in Iseums for Adepti degrees or Lyceums for Magi degrees of the College of Isis.
Four degrees in all are required to become an Adept (Iseums, adepti degrees) or a Hierophant (Lyceums, magi degrees) The attainment of a degree requires significant preparation and study before enacting of the rite.
Olivia writes: "From our first FOI Handbook, published through our Cesara Press:
Taking a degree can involve months or years. If Divine Communion takes place in some way during the period of working the Rite, a degree may be conferred.
I now write:
Preparation is essential. Degrees are conferred through receipt of genuine spiritual experience."
This guideline was reviewed by Olivia Robertson in the presence of several FOI members at the Nesu House, Isis Oasis, Geyserville, California, Tuesday, October 11, 2011. It is a suggested guideline only. All heads of College of Isis centers have full autonomy and may structure their coursework as inspired by their tutelary Deity or Deities.
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