Fellowship of Isis History Archive - Temple of Isis and Ngame
Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa
Temple of Isis and Ngame
The Work of ArchPriest Michael U. Okoruwa
Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
"Every part of man is imbued with the radiations of the spiritual world, every gesture informed with occult potency. Man is a living Talisman." - Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa
Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa is a healer, a priest and an author. He underwent formal training in the mysteries while living in London in the 1970's through early 1980's. While he was a student in this mystery school, he read the book “The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth,” by Robert Graves. This book, especially the section titled "Postscript 1960" which described the incidents which led to the introduction of the Goddess Ngame into the life of Robert Graves, greatly touched Michael Okoruwa.
Olivia writes: "... Robert Graves, through a series of psychic happenings, was inspired by the Goddess Ngame to write "The White Goddess". And in doing so, he himself inspired the creation of a great temple of Ngame in Nigeria, run by the famous healer and writer on the occult, the Right Reverend Archpriest Michael Okoruwa, of our Fellowship of Isis priesthood."
His training in the mysteries covered many subjects. He is an accomplished Kabbalist, he is learned in the art of alchemy, the esoteric use of metals, gemstones and plants, numerology, runes, spiritualism, ceremonial high magic, talismans and astral travel. He conducts 'spiritual journeys' or guided meditations as part of his work as a spiritual leader and healer, and has an attendence of over 800 people at his weekly services in his temple in Nigeria.
After many years of study in London he gained his Adepthood. When Michael Okoruwa had finished these studies, he visited FOI co-founders Lady Olivia Robertson and her brother Lawrence Durdin-Robertson at Clonegal Castle in Ireland. There he received his ordination as a priest. This took place in 1981. Of this visit Lady Olivia writes: "His healing abilities were so brilliantly demonstrated during his visit to Clonegal Castle, that his work was described at length with a photograph in Ireland’s leading newspaper, “The Irish Times.” Michael is a chief, son of a famous, respected Chief in his country.”
Upon returning to Nigeria, he corresponded with Rt. Rev. Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, who featured quotes from Rt. Rev. Okoruwa in his books. "God the Mother, The Creatress and Giver of Life", by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson included this passage about Ngame from Rt. Rev. Okoruwa:
Archpriest Okoruwa writes of her: "Also associated with Her are the two water jugs with the outflow of water which symbolizes the water of life - 'Let the firmament (abyss) divide the waters from the waters, the waters above the firmament and those below the firmament' (Genesis). Also Ngame is shown with one foot in water and one on dry land, bridging the abyss.”
He has also regularly corresponded with Lady Olivia Robertson over the years, and acted as a representative for the Fellowship of Isis at interfaith composiums worldwide. He is listed on page 44 of the entries for presenters, associates and members of the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, Illinois in 1993: "Okoruwa, Chief, Religion: Ngame, Country: Nigeria”.
On November 1, 2000, a speech written by Rt. Rev. Okoruwa was read by Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Kurtaran, coordinator of a panel on the subject "The Calls for Peace-Friendship-Unification Given to the World by World Organizations Who Serve in the World Evolution Project in the Age of Information". The panel was part of an event in Istanbul, Turkey that is organized every year by the World Brotherhood Union – Mevlana Supreme Foundation.
Rt. Rev. Michael Okoruwa attended a Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Cape Town, South Africa, December 1st to 8th in 1999. He sent the following report to Lady Olivia: “I have just come back from Capetown. I offered my presentation on behalf of the Fellowship of Isis, and my Lyceum of Isis and Ngame.”
In order to promote the concepts of the FOI Manifesto as "multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-racial" Michael Okoruwa is listed as a member of the International Council of Community Churches in Nigeria. In this council body, he works towards unity, helping churches and spiritual centers in his country achieve a national and international voice.
Olivia Robertson wrote of his work: "Michael, as well as being in our Archpriesthood Union, is a well-known author on spiritual and occult matters in Nigeria. He is also a famous healer, and about 800 people attend his Sunday ceremonies in the huge courtyard of his Temple of Isis and Ngame, overshadowed by two 15 foot bronze statues of the Goddesses. As Michael represents thousands of our FOI Nigeria members, his contribution at the Parliament was of great importance." (see note below)
Rt. Rev. Okoruwa has students who live all over the world. To help them in their studies and to further spread his teachings he has authored several books over the years. Upon returning to Nigeria, he founded the 'World Order of Kabbalists' and the 'Temple of Isis and Ngame' which are both situated in Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria. Because of the scope of his work he was made an ArchPriest in the Fellowship of Isis in late 1983, several years prior to the forming of the ArchPriesthood Union.
He is known for his profound grasp and detailed knowledge, which he is able to communicate in a straightforward style that is easy to understand. He is extremely gifted as a teacher.
Rt. Rev. Okoruwa writes that the name of Ngame is pronounced 'Neegamee' and of the Temple of Isis and Ngame in Nigeria he says : "Passing many trees along a path you face the Temple of Isis and Ngame. Then you will see an example of Ngame in her natural symbolic aspect - bridge. The function of a bridge, an artificial structure which overcomes a natural barrier, and links two places that are naturally apart, is the key to the important role of bridges in religious customs and beliefs ... The purpose of a bridge in providing a link between two naturally separated places seems also to have inspired the idea of a bridge between the lands of the living and the dead ... Another meaning of a bridge is the concept of reconciliation.
The Temple of Isis and Ngame is built across a gully of ten feet wide and thirty feet deep. Then you find the Temple of Ngame becomes a bridge, uniting two lands, two cultures, two different people.
I quote the words of Rt. Rev. and Priestess Hierophant Olivia Robertson, from "Urania, Ceremonial Magic of the Goddess", and the ritual "Magic of Neptune and Ngame" concerning the magic of Ngame: 'She who formed a rainbow bridge with her ark from mighty ocean to ocean. So uniting two continents and two cultures, of heart and head, Nature and the Arts.'
Hence the spiritual importance of the title of the Temple as Isis and Ngame. They are inseparable. They remain united eternally and externally. This is the full meaning of Isis and Ngame. The Mother Principle, as it flashes forth, a hue encircling the whole universe, radiating in all things. Perfect harmony is another name for Her."
He wrote to Lady Olivia that during his initial visit to Clonegal Castle the Yew Tree Walk greatly impressed him, giving him a spiritual insight into the bridge between worlds. After this experience he incorporated the concept of the bridge into his work with Ngame. This symbolism guided the choice of location for his temple.
A List of Written Works by Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa:
The Mysteries of Religion and Kabbalah
The Lotus of Ngame
The Cosmic Dance
The Priesthood in the Temple
Address to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Cape Town, South Africa,1999
For inquiries to obtain these works, please send a letter asking for pricing and shipping costs and include a self addressed return envelope. Send them to:
Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa
P.O. Box 887
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Note: The bronze statues of Isis and Ngame have historic and cultural significance. The City of Benin, residence of ArchPriest Okoruwa, was known as 'the city of bronze casters'. In the late 1400s, the royal palace harbored a vast compound where metalsmiths, carvers and artisans created objects for the king and his court. The casting of bronze was controlled by the king; no one could cast items in bronze without royal permission. The people of the area of Benin City (the Edo) believed since bronze resists corrosion, it represented the permanence and continuity of the kingship.
Today there exists a sign which bids visitors and residents farewell as they leave Benin City, which reads: “Farewell, from Benin City, the Home of Bronze Casters."
Photo courtesy of Rt. Rev. Michael U. Okoruwa. All rights reserved. Quotes by Lady Olivia Robertson, AU, and Rt. Rev Michael U. Okoruwa used by permission. All rights reserved.