Fellowship of Isis History Archive - FOI Firsts on the World Wide Web

The Fellowship of Isis on the World Wide Web

An Overview of FOI “Firsts” on the Internet

The original Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website. The first FOI related site on the internet, circa 1994.

Two screenshots of the original Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website created in 1994. This was the first FOI related site on the internet. The screenshots obtained through the Wayback Machine list the dates of these screenshots as April 4, 1997.

The Cosmic Web (Star of Ishtar), Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website.

"The website was a labor of love." - Michael A. Starsheen

1994 - Lyceum of Isis of the Stars

Michael A. Starsheen

The first FOI related website was created by Michael Artonn Starsheen, AU, who had a background in computer programming. He began programming his site in late 1994. The website was titled after his FOI centre “Lyceum of Isis of the Stars.” It was primarily a teaching site for his lyceum. By early 1995 there were several pages on the site devoted to the Fellowship of Isis, including a copy of the Manifesto and detailed information about the Star of Ishtar Tiamat Dragon Diagram. The diagram page is featured above. It is extraordinary that Starsheen programmed the diagram completely by hand. It is not a scan. There was also a form on the site that could be printed out and sent to Olivia Robertson at the FOI Foundation Centre in Ireland to join the Fellowship of Isis. This was the way new members joined the FOI before decentralization. Olivia has stated that the Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website brought more people to join the Fellowship of Isis than any other vehicle during the period it was online.

All of the website content about the Fellowship of Isis was printed out in full colour and sent to Olivia Robertson, who reviewed and approved it all. She authorized the Lyceum of the Isis of the Stars website to post FOI materials onto the internet. Starsheen says, “I was fairly new to the FOI, having only joined in 1993. But I noticed that there was not an FOI presence on the internet at that time. Since I had a 15 year background in computers, setting up an FOI related site seemed the perfectly logical thing to do. All of my years in computer technology could be put to good use.”

Starsheen built the site entirely from scratch, everything had to be coded by hand with html, because the website building programs that are generally available today did not exist then. Even the graphics on his site had to be created by hand - one pixel at a time.

The url for this website was: http://www.isis-of-the-stars.org/isis It was deactivated in 2004. A second Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website was under construction but taken offline in 2009. The url for that website was: http://www.isisofthestars.org/

Isian News, Issue No. 80, Spring, 1996 included a description of the Lyceum of Isis of the Stars website from Starsheen: "With our Lyceum's migration onto the World-Wide-Web, any members - indeed anyone - with a computer can call up my pages and read about the Fellowship and the activities of my Lyceum. I am registering my Web page with a searching service so that people can search for "The Fellowship of Isis" and find us." We offer the Manifesto and membership form that can be printed and sent in to the castle. The word 'dedicated' takes the reader to our Lyceum Purpose screen. The Classes available through the Lyceum screen lists the outer mystery classes, our calendar of Solar Festivals, our New Moon calendar, and Zodiac energies. The last screen, the web of the universe, is reached through the connector for Ritual Mystery Dramas. I am adding a form through which these dramas may be obtained from Cesara Publications ..."

The last line of this quote has surely proved prophetic:"... In the coming Aquarian Age this will be one of the major ways in which people will interact."

The original 'homepage' of the Fellowship of Isis was based in London.

Above, a screenshot from the Wayback Machine of the first FOI central homepage which was based in London. Unfortunately the link to the painting of Isis by Judith Page no longer functions. Otherwise the page appears exactly as it did when published and active online years ago. The Wayback Machine took this screenshot on February 11, 1998. The page was maintained by Steve Wilson. The url for this page on the Wayback Machine is: http://www.cerbernet.co.uk/isis/index.htm

1995 - FOI Homepage, London UK

Caroline Wise, Steve Wilson, John Merron

Caroline Wise, AU, and Steve Wilson, AU, both of London, UK, received authorization to create the First Official Central FOI Website in 1995. This site was designated as the "Homepage" for the Fellowship of Isis. The website was published to the internet in early 1996. It was announced in the 1996 Brigantia Isian News, Issue Number 79. This first FOI central website contained news of upcoming FOI events in London, including the London FOI Convention, along with news and FOI events from other areas of the world. This site featured information about animal welfare from the APB (Animal Protestors Bulletin) and environmental concerns. A painting of Isis by artist Judith Page graced the main/index page of the website. The Animal Welfare page on the site had the url: http://www.cerbernet.co.uk/isis/live.htm The url for the home or index page of this former site was: http://www.cerbernet.co.uk/isis/index.htm

Steve wrote an e-mail to Starsheen not long after the London based Official central homepage site was published onto the web. “I wish I had realized you had the FOI Manifesto on your site. I could have cut and pasted from your pages and not had to type and code the whole thing out by hand!”

In these very early days the original homepage of the Fellowship of Isis based in London and the website of the Lyceum of Isis of the Stars linked to each other, as the only two FOI related sites on the web.

The Original FOI Homepage was based in London, created by Steve Wilson of Isis of Time and Space Lyceum, London; Caroline Wise of Isis of the Thames Lyceum, London; with support from John Merron of Elen of the Greenways Lyceum, London.

The Second Link in the screenshot above, titled "Fellowship of Isis Homepage" refers to the "Home" page of the original Fellowship of Isis Central Website, which was based in London.

1996 - 1999

FOI Chicago - Deena Butta, 1996

FOI Germany - Claudia and Thomas Wehmeyer, 1997

FOI Homepage, Tucson, AZ - Connia Silver, 1999

Between 1996 and 1999 several FOI related sites were published on the internet. In 1997 the Cybertemple of the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names was published to the internet by Rt. Rev. Claudia Wehmeyer and Rt. Rev. Thomas Wehmeyer of Germany, who are the founders of The Nemeton of Dana and Tara Hedge College. Olivia included a listing for their website in Isian News in February of 1999. During this period, FOI Chicago, was put up by Deena Butta, AU and Lord Seshmi, Pr. H., of Chicago. The next few years would see the creation of many FOI related sites. Individual sites from more FOI centers, additional regional sites such as the one in Chicago and online discussion groups were being set up all over the world to create the network via the world wide web that the Fellowship of Isis enjoys today.

Four years after FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson had given authorization to Caroline Wise and Steve Wilson, Connia Silver contacted FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson about creating a new Fellowship of Isis Homepage on April 7, 1999. Olivia writes in Isian News Number 94, Samhain, 1999: "The Homepage was put together and went online on May 18th 1999 ... We even found it at once in the library of Clonegal Castle." This marked the beginning of the Fellowship of Isis HomePage produced by Connia Silver. Written authorization from Olivia was granted to Connia, dated July 23, 1999.

Official transfer of authorization of the homepage of the Fellowship of Isis, 1999.

The new Fellowship of Isis HomePage grew quickly. Photo galleries, the Fellowship of Isis Liturgy, excerpts from Juno Covella, news and announcements were added to the site. In 2003 Isian News made its internet debut on the FOI Homepage. Isian News was presented online through the FOI HomePage starting with the Lughnasadh 2003 issue, through the Samhain 2008 issue. Connia Silver introduced the use of full color cover art in Isian News, Samhain issue no. 110, 2003.

On December 1, 2008, Olivia was notified by Connia Silver, that she was giving up publishing and giving up the homepage for the Fellowship of Isis. The homepage was uploaded online again thirteen months later, according to FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson, serves as an archive.

2004 - Fellowship of Isis Central Website

Circle of Isis Advisory Board, Geyserville, CA

October, 2004 - Charter created by Olivia Robertson for the Circle of Isis, the first designated body of members to create and maintain an FOI Central site outside the FOI Homepage, since the original launch of the homepage in London in 1995.

2004 - 2005

Because of the rapid expansion of the Fellowship of Isis during the next several years through the internet, Olivia saw the need to decentralize the FOI presence on the web. She initiated the creation of a new Advisory Board within the Fellowship of Isis, under the aegis of the Temple of Isis, the legal branch of the FOI. The board was named the Circle of Isis, and officially chartered on October 10, 2004. This Advisory Board was authorized to set up a global FOI website containing the full FOI liturgy on that date.

The first Circle of Isis site was published in late 2004. But due to technical difficulties with the database it was taken off of the internet in September of 2005.

A new Circle of Isis website was launched on November 19, 2005. This second COI site was the first FOI website to contain a complete hand typed version of the entire FOI Liturgy based on the original FOI Liturgy texts as published by Cesara Publications - the private publishing house of FOI co-founders, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson and his sister Lady Olivia Robertson. This presentation of the liturgy by the Circle of Isis website has been authorized by Lady Olivia Robertson in person. This unique and positive contribution has been offered in the spirit of loving friendship and goodwill to the Fellowship of Isis community.

2006 - Present

When Olivia requested the founding of the Circle of Isis Advisory Board and creation of a new central site on October 10, 2004, she wrote up an announcement which contained the following paragraph: "As with present and future global websites consisting of a plurality of centres, each such website will have authority to publish the Liturgy free online and to present lists of centres, new members of the Priesthood and other such information. In the future British, Irish, German, Japanese and Nigerian global websites would assist hundreds of members and centres who require local information."

Since 2004 several other new FOI global and regional websites have been authorized by Olivia. Each of these sites offers a unique contribution to the Fellowship of Isis through the special talents of the respective website managers and website staffs. Olivia writes: "Each member of the Fellowship of Isis is valued, the work of each member is dedicated through She of Ten Thousand Names."

The FOI continues to grow, spreading Goddess awareness through a Rainbow Network via the world wide web. As Olivia so often says: "The Fellowship of Isis was never meant to be a tree, it was meant to be a forest."

During Olivia Robertson's annual visit to London, she asked Caroline Wise to help her found the Star of Elen which was chartered July 8, 2008. The Star of Elen, like the Circle of Isis is an advisory board that has authorization to create a central website for the Fellowship of Isis. The creation of the Star of Elen fulfilled Olivia's dream of a British-based FOI central website.

On December 1st, 2008, accompanied by a formal announcement, the Fellowship of Isis HomePage site was rendered inactive, though it maintained a website presence. The website manager had to take an emergency sabbatical for family reasons. A link was added directing viewers to the Crossroads Lyceum website. Information transferred from the Homepage was stored as an archive on the Crossroads Lyceum website where it could be freely accessed. The FOI HomePage was online for nine and one half years at that point. Thirteen months later, the Fellowship of Isis HomePage was reactivated, information and pages were restored. The site is now operating as the Fellowship of Isis HomePage Archive.

This same day (December 1st, 2008), the Circle of Isis Advisory Board was contacted by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson. She requested that the COI website publish Isian News along with the various duties already taken on as a Central Fellowship of Isis website for the world wide FOI community. The name of our website was officially changed to Fellowship of Isis Central as directed by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson.

2008 - FOI Germany Authorized as Official FOI Central Website

On December 19, 2008, FOI co-founder Rt. Rev. Olivia Robertson authorized FOI Germany, the website of Rt. Rev. Claudia and Rt. Rev. Thomas Wehmeyer, as an official Central Global website of the Fellowship of Isis. This fulfills Olivia's vision of a central FOI website in Germany as outlined in her original announcement for the Circle of Isis in October of 2004. FOI Germany joins the Star of Elen (chartered July 8, 2008 and Circle of Isis (chartered October 10, 2004) as authorized Central Global websites for the Fellowship of Isis.

2011 - Fellowship of Isis Utah - Kasey Conder

During her visit to Salt Lake City in October, 2011, FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson authorized Kasey Conder to create and maintain a central website for the Fellowship of Isis, named Fellowship of Isis Utah. Kasey created an active group in Salt Lake City and the immediate area, with several meetings and activities throughout the year. A group of FOI members will attend the Parliament of World's Religions scheduled for October, 2015. All FOI events at the Parliament are hosted by Fellowship of Isis Utah.

2013 - Fellowship of Isis Central moves to a new home on the web!

January 10, 2013, the original host server for Fellowship of Isis Central announced they were discontinuing use of the website builder program used to create the original website for the Circle of Isis, now called Fellowship of Isis Central. The website pages were transferred to their present location on the web. Here is a screenshot of the former site:

FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson sent a new charter dated February 9th, 2013. FOI Central originally operated under the aegis of the Temple of Isis in Geyserville. Because the site operates as the central FOI website and publishes Isian News and books for the Fellowship of Isis, Olivia felt it best that we were not officially connected to one specific FOI related venue, but operated wholly on a neutral, all inclusive basis.

Thanks to Michael Artonn Starsheen, AU, for sharing information about the early days of his website. Thanks also go to Steve Wilson, AU who programmed the first FOI Central Site.

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