Juno Covella - Author Biography and Description

From the Juno Covella Dust Jacket

Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, FOI Co-Founder

The Author

The following text comes from the Juno Covella dust jacket

The author, born in 1920, was educated in Ireland. After serving in the Irish Army and the Admiralty Research Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, he studied at Wells Theological College, Somerset (1946-8). Ordained in the Anglican Church in 1948, he was rector of Aghold, Co. Wicklow (1951-2) and of East Bilney, Norfolk (1952 -7).

Religious conviction led the author to start writing in 1970, to receive the priesthood of Isis in 1972, and to help found the Fellowship of Isis, with his wife and sister in 1976. In 1981 he made over, by Deed of Gift, the Temple of Isis on the ground floor of the early 17th century Clonegal Castle, to the Fellowship, to be held by trustees.

The author has officially revived his ancient Gaelic family title, Baron Ruadh or Robertson of Strathloch, through registration by the Chief Herald of Ireland. He is cousin of Robert Graves, author of The White Goddess. He has three daughters and one son.

Book Description

From the Juno Covella dust jacket

This Calendar is called after Juno, who was invoked as Juno Covella, of the New Moon, when the Nones of each month were announced (calantur), by the Roman Pontiff. (Varro).

The Calendar gives details of the Goddesses presiding over, or connected with, the various divisions of time. Sections are devoted to the Goddesses of: I. Chronological Eras; II. The Year; III. The Fixed Calendar; IV. The Moveable Calendar; V. The Days of the Month; VI. the Days of the Week; VII. The Hours of the Day. Goddesses of the Zodiacal signs are also given. There is an extensive bibliography.

Material for the Calendar is drawn from a variety of sources. These include the traditional scriptures such as the Babylonian and Egyptian Ritual Texts, the Vedas, the Bible, the Zend-Avesta, the Kojiki, and the Nihongi, the Koran, the works of Classical writers including Hesiod, Aratus, Varro, Ovid, Ptolemy, and also the late Roman Calendars of Philocalus and Silvius. Among rarer or lesser known books are the Institutes of the Emperor Akbar, Dufresnoy's Chronological Tables and the Abbe de Montfaucon’s Supplement to Antiquities Explained. Hitherto unpublished materials include MSS, by the late Ross Nichols, Chosen Chief of the OBOD, and by Hugh Gibbs, Igaehinudoequa, Blue Holly Clan Chief of the Cherokee Nation, a FOI member.

Many seasonal rites are given in detail, such as the Ship of Isis, (March 5th), the great Death and Resurrection Rite sof Ishtar and Tammuz, Zarpanit and Bel, Isis and Osiris, Astarte and Adonis, and Cybele and Attis - and remarkable parallels are shown between these and the accounts in the New Testament of Mary Magdalene and Jesus. The elaborate ritual of the nine days of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, at the end of September, is given at length, and so are the numerous customs attending the four Celtic seasonal festivals.

Emphasis is laid on the fact that the Church calendars are largely based on the old religions. Thus the Alexandrian “Feast of Epiphany” of Kore-Persephone was held in her temple on the night of January 5th. (Kerenyi, Eleusis.).

Many fascinating glimpses are given of both ancient and modern beliefs and customs. “Few know that the twenty-seventh of the month is best for opening a wine jar.” (Hesiod). The 10th of Asan (September/October), Durga’s festival, “is an auspicious day for sending children to school.” (Murray’s Handbook, India.) The best time for weddings, as Ovid is told by the Priestess of Juno, is “whn the sweepings of Vesta’s temple have been carried down to the sea,” that is, the latter half of June. Midday is the hour when the beautiful Nitokris, Spirit of the Southern Pyramid, is seen “haunting the monument of her magnificence.” (Maspero.) Gardeners should plant Paphian lettuces on April 1st, the festival of Paphian Venus. (Columella).

There is also much to entertain. When St. Brighid accosts St. Patrick, demanding his recognition of the woman’s right to propose, “Patrick replied: ‘Bridget, acushla, squeeze me that way agin, an’ I’ll give ye leap-year, the longest of the lot’.” (Brewer).

Of great interest are the prognostications. Under Advent is an enumeration of prophecies, from many varied sources, of the Return of the Goddess, bringing a new Golden Age. “Nature always proceed by jumps. She may spen twenty thousand years making up her mind to jump: but when it makes it up at last, the jump is big enough to take us into a new age.” (George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah).

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