Fellowship of Isis Foundation Union Triad - Further Reflection
FOI Triad Structure: Contemplation
by Olivia Robertson and Deena Hartray Butta
Structure has meaning. And lingering over cups of Earl Grey tea with Lady Olivia can open doorways into many things.
One day last October, (2009) Lady Olivia immersed herself in a contemplation of the FOI Triads. Here is what she wrote about the Triads last Autumn in issue #24 of Isis Seshat Journal: “What we in the Fellowship of Isis believe in, is the ethical reality of the Goddess Faith. We have a Triad of centres which embody the 3 primal Ethics listed in the Manifesto - Love, Beauty and Truth. These are shown forth through the Priesthood, The Druid Clan of Dana, and the Order of Tara."
This Autumn, she thought some more about this, and we had some conversations about the Triads, and this article, which builds on ideas from last year, is the result. From this structure, which is based on the FOI values of love, beauty and truth, here are some understandings and insights about the roles and purpose of the societies comprising the Triad.
College of Isis
Compassion For All
Druid Clan of Dana
Sacred Arts & Science
Grand Commander Union
Noble Order of Tara
Active Service for the Earth
The ArchPriest/ess Union embodies the principle of Love. Its acronym, AU, is the symbol for the chemical element Gold. The priests, priestesses, hierophants, ArchPriests, and ArchPriestesses comprise the College of Isis, which is dedicated to serving members of the Fellowship of Isis, and providing caring and guidance of different kinds. The service offered by FOI priests and priestesses is characterized by devotion: to their matron goddess, to a social or spiritual cause or ideal, and to their fellow beings on this planet. They offer their hearts to others; and this can take the form of teaching and guidance. The service of hierophants additionally takes the form of structured studies offered by their lyceums, which is based on FOI liturgies and other writings. As hierophants, they "show the way," guided by the ways of their matron goddess. ArchPriest/esses serve everyone: priests, priestesses, hierophants, and general members. They have been described as being the overall custodians of FOI, who put the wellbeing of FOI above all else. All these kinds of service reflect the Love of the Goddess. The person attracted to the College of Isis is someone who is a teacher, healer, or other kind of helper. They offer their hearts in service to Goddess and mortal alike.
The ArchDruid/ess Union embodies the principle of Beauty. The Druid Clan of Dana and its Groves are dedicated to the development of psychic abilities. This kind of inner knowing is related to the kind of knowing that expresses itself through the arts. Traditionally, bards spoke poetically in order to give voice to their deity. Plato had more respect for this kind of art that does not involve manual effort. But in ages succeeding Plato, and in the FOI Groves, all the arts are understood as a vehicle for oracular communications from deity. Whether by words, images, movement, or the physical arrangement and manipulation of surroundings, inspired and intuitive expressions come through the Druid from the Goddess. Beauty is the harmony and balance found in nature throughout the cosmos, and the ArchDruid/ess Union gives expression to that Beauty on many levels. The person who is attracted to the Druid Clan of Dana might be someone who is a seer, a poet, or another kind of artist. They offer their minds and intellects to the Goddess in her service.
The Grand Commander Union embodies the principle of Truth. The Noble Order of Tara and its Priories are dedicated to nature in an active, energetic way. The knights, dames, and commanders of the Noble Order of Tara actively work on behalf of the goddess as expressed through the natural environment. They are her knights and ladies, they carry out her missions and directives, and go on her quests. They "walk their talk." Words can be misleading but our bodies never lie. The person attracted to the Noble Order of Tara might prefer action to speech, and wants to offer physical labor work for a cause. They offer their strength and energy to the Goddess in her service.
Acronyms also have meaning; and Lady Olivia enjoys discovering their hidden meanings. The names of the deities to whom the branches of the FOI Triads are dedicated, are Isis, Dana, and Tara. The name of Isis can be made into the acronym ISIS, which might stand for Isis Social Immune System. The name Dana is close to the acronym DNA. The name Tara can stand for Truth, Awareness, Recognition, and Action. The acronym for the Fellowship of Isis, FOI, is the same as the French word foi, which means faith. What all of this might communicate can be summarized as Faith and Well Being Through Loving, Knowing, and Being Our True Selves."