Star of Ishtar - Origin and Creation
The Fellowship of Isis Ritual Correspondences Diagram is generally referred to as "The Star of Ishtar". It's full name is "The Star of Ishtar and the Web of the Universe and the Tiamat Dragon Around the Divine Matrix Diagram". It is also known as "The Fellowship of Isis Star of Life".
The Star of Ishtar and The Web of the Universe
Tiamat Dragon Around the Divine Matrix Diagram
Coloured Diagram of the Star of Ishtar
A Rainbow Spiral of Rituals on the Eight-Rayed Star of the Goddess
This spiral of 33 degrees is used for the Adepti (iseums), Magi (lyceums), Alchemical (solar iseums), Druid Clan of Dana (groves) and Noble Order of Tara (priories). For more information about each of these systems visit the pages listed on the navigation bar which feature these branches of study. Each numbered circle on the Star of Ishtar corresponds to an FOI liturgy ritual.
Mystic Perception and Wisdom of the Goddess Revealed
By Olivia Robertson
First Update, October 2006. Second Update, October 2011
The Rays of the Star are Time; the levels are the coils of the Creatrix Dragon of Babylon, the Goddess Tiamat. Her four coils form Space, these correspond to the four levels of the Qabalistic Tree of Life (Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, Assiah). The matrix resembles in form a spider’s web, around an egg-shaped oval center, which is the seed, the central point from which life emanates in the eight coloured cosmic rays of Sirius, known as the Star of Ishtar, and Soul of Isis .
On the High Altar in the Chapel of Ishtar we have eight candles, eight is the special number of the Fellowship. The Star of Ishtar has eight rays, the year has eight main festivals, it is the sign of eternity, of magic - the two loops signifying higher and lower awareness, the world above and the world below experienced as one.
Knowledge of The Star of Ishtar and the Web of the Universe is crucial to perceiving the underlying potency of each ritual in the Liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis. It symbolizes the relationship between Space, formed by the coils of the spiral dragon Tiamat, with Time, formed by the eight-pointed Star of Ishtar, which is also known as the Star Sirius or Sothis, the Soul of Isis. The eight rays emanating off the Star of Ishtar intersect the four levels of consciousness to form portals which provide opportunities for spiritual growth through focusing on Divine energies, keys and symbols, like those provided within the FOI Liturgy.
The Star of Ishtar and the Web of the Universe Diagram is the basis for all of the Spirals of Spiritual Growth utilized within the Fellowship of Isis, including the Magi Degrees of the College of Isis, the Spiral of the Adepti, the Spiral of Alchemy, and the ritual structure for the Druid Clan of Dana and Noble Order of Tara. Rays of the Star of Ishtar total to eight, which is a uniquely feminine number because it corresponds to the sum of the terminals of the XX of feminine chromosones. The spiraled coils of Tiamat symbolize the concept of the Fibonacci numbers - the perfect and divine proportion which is expressed throughout nature. The diagram depicts a matrix, formed by the Babylonian Goddess Tiamat as a four-coiled dragon, Divine Creatress and Mother of all, bisected by the eight rayed Star of Ishtar. Ishtar descended and ascended all spheres to rescue Her Divine Consort Tammuz, who is the Shepherd of the Starry Flocks in the sky. We use this diagram to illustrate the development of consciousness through the Spiral as Space, where it is bisected by Time.
Concept of the Star of Ishtar
The concept and key for the Star of Ishtar was revealed through spiritual inspiration. It was originally drawn for the Fellowship of Isis by Chesca Potter. The four coils of the Tiamat Dragon represent four stages of consciousness; the thirty-two rituals are presented on the diagram where eight rays of time intersect the four planes of consciousness (space). These are portals to different levels of being, providing access to 32 working rites, and one mystical, the 33rd, situated at the heart of the Star. I felt it necessary to keep the 33rd degree open and therefore mystic, with no corresponding rite - spontaneous spiritual awakening can happen at any time. The FOI Liturgy rites are vehicles to stimulate psychic perception and spiritual illumination.
The diagram of the Star of Ishtar was created over a period of time through a series of visions and experiences which led to the gradual formation of the Star diagram. As with all aspects of the Fellowship of Isis the diagram is open. You can see at the beginning of the diagram a kind of tail of cosmic dust that leads to ritual number one. This is because the spiral is a map or chart of a multi-layered and ever-expanding existence. It is the purpose of spiritual experience to attune our awareness - as we become more fully conscious we retain the lessons, visions and messages we receive from the otherworld. Make no mistake - we are in contact with this astral world whether we are aware of it or not. It is part of the very fabric of our existence, both of our own being and that of everything around us.
After creating the Star of Ishtar I found an ancient Chinese diagram which contained a seven-coiled dragon and eight-pointed star. Later I learned this dragon and star were symbols of Daoist Inner Alchemy and that our Fellowship diagram is in agreement with the eastern sages! Like the teachers of the east, I see ‘now’ as all we truly have. This 'now' is bisected by time and space. Time is comprised of the out-reaching rays of the Star of Ishtar, emanating in rainbow rays to Her children who are dispersed throughout Her creation. This Web of Life is the universe, both our physical universe and those of varying etheric levels within it. All co-exists in Her Body, for She is Mother of All. I was guided in visions to illustrate Her as a cosmic spiral which I saw as the Coils of Tiamat, though the Goddess as Creatrix has been known by many names in many cultures.
The Four Levels
By Olivia Robertson
Students of the Qabalah will notice the relation between the Star of Ishtar, Web of the Universe diagram with the four worlds and thirty-two paths of the Qabalistic Tree of Life:
• Physical - Alma Mater (awakening to our true relationship to the physical world)
corresponds to earth (Qabalistic level of Assiah)
• Astral or Psychic - Flamma Vestae (awakening our psychic gifts) corresponds to air
(Qabalistic level of Yetzirah)
• Spiritual - Porta Mystica (awakening to our true spiritual path) corresponds to water
(Qabalistic level of Briah)
• Divine - Dulce Domum (receiving communion directly from the Divine Source)
corresponds to fire (Qabalistic level of Atziluth)
These levels of existence spiral inward to the Divine Matrix or Womb of the Goddess placed in the center of the Star of Ishtar. The Ankh represents the Emanation of Life from this Divine Womb and the numbered rituals around the spiral show both the Path of Return to Her and the Path of Emergence from Her. The eight rays of the Star of Ishtar correspond to the eight Solar Festivals that make up the Wheel of the Year, the directions and the various astrological signs and planets. 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.
The Colours of the Four Levels
Alma Mater is colored Violet to Indigo.
Flamma Vestae is colored Blue to Green.
Porta Mystica is colored Yellow to Orange.
Dulce Domum is colored Red to Violet.
Druid Clan of Dana
According to Olivia Robertson, within the Druid Clan of Dana the four levels of consciousness formed by the coils of the Goddess Tiamat are corresponded to these Goddesses, as outlined in "The Rite of Dana. Druid Initiation":
Level 1. Morrigan, corresponds to Alma Mater (Gateway of the Sidhe. Earth)
Level 2. Dana, corresponds to Flamma Vestae (Paths of Sun and Moon. Sky)
Level 3. Brigid, corresponds to Porta Mystica (Facing the Goddess. Water)
Level 4. Dana, corresponds to Dulce Domum (Land of Heart's Desire. Initiation)
Noble Order of Tara
Within the Noble Order of Tara, the four levels of consciousness formed by the coils of the Goddess Tiamat are corresponded to Goddesses, as outlined in "Tara and Lugh: Ordeal of the Danaan Treasures":
Level 1. Tara, corresponds to Alma Mater (Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny. Earth)
Level 2. Morrigan, corresponds to Flamma Vestae (The Sword of Light. Air)
Level 3. Dana, corresponds to Porta Mystica (The Cauldron of Plenty. Water)
Level 4. Brighid, corresponds to Dulce Domum (The Spear of Destiny. Fire)
The Eight Coloured Rays
by Olivia Robertson
My brother Lawrence was greatly admired the work of early Theosophists, notably Annie Besant, Charles W. Leadbeater and Alice Bailey. He referred to Annie Besant constantly! C. W. Leadbeater was a gifted clairvoyant. When we organised the College of Isis, he was inspired to base our coloured rays upon their works. Members may not be aware today, my brother and his wife Pamela were vegetarians, like these pioneers of Theosophy. They adhered to a vegetarian diet - we all did.
Colours, Planetary and Directional Correspondences
Ray 0 & VIII, White and Rainbow, corresponding to Earth and Pluto, North
Ray I, Red, corresponding to Mars, Northeast
Ray II, Orange, corresponding to Venus, East
Ray III, Yellow, corresponding to Mercury, Southeast
Ray IV, Green, corresponding to Jupiter, South
Ray V, Blue, corresponding to Saturn, Southwest
Ray VI, Indigo, corresponding to Uranus & Inner Sun, West
Ray VII, Violet, corresponding to Neptune and Moon, Northwest
The Rites of the Liturgy are divided into eight different sections that correspond to the Cosmic Rays. The first ritual in each section is either a personal role taken on by the seeker to gain new knowledge, or a mundane role describing an awakening to one’s true relationship to the physical world. The second ritual corresponds to one of the eight solar festivals of the Wheel of the Year, the third to an inner elemental or transcendental state of being. The fourth rite corresponds to the manifestation of a specific ability or spiritual experience directly related to this newly awakened inner state.
In these Magical Rites the God manifests in the Outer Arcanum as attributes that are visible in the physical world. The Goddess represents the Inner Mysteries or Knowledge, except in the case of the planet Venus. Her emanations manifest in the physical world as reproduction, love of physical beauty, sensuality and the aesthetic appreciation of art. In the inner worlds Venus manifests as the higher more spiritual aspects of love.
Pranic Force: Effect and Purpose of the Rays
When studying the structure of the magi degree system of the College of Isis, it is helpful to bear in mind my brother Lawrence and his wife Pamela were greatly influenced by the work of Alice Bailey, Charles W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant. Each of the eight rays of the Star of Ishtar correspond to the Colored Cosmic Rays of Divine Intelligence as described in the work of Alice Bailey and Charles W. Leadbeater. They are streams of pranic force.
The purpose of these rituals is to strike a note on one level of being and so awaken the same note on other octaves of being through use of symbol and color. The elaborate description of colored robes, headdresses and other outer symbols at the beginning of each ritual puts these psychic keynotes into the creative imagination of the candidate to promote visualization of the energies being invoked.
0 and 8th Cosmic Ray, White and Rainbow: The color white is used to purify the etheric centers and the Rainbow then stimulates all these centers at once, thus, preparing the individual for receptivity to the subsequent work along the Cosmic Rays.
1st Cosmic Ray, Red: Strengthens the Will.
2nd Cosmic Ray, Orange: Stimulates Creative Potency.
3rd Cosmic Ray, Yellow: Awakens the Intellect of the Higher Mind.
4th Cosmic Ray, Green: Creates Inner Balance and Harmony.
5th Cosmic Ray, Blue: Opens Pathways to Inner Knowledge.
6th Cosmic Ray, Indigo: Spiritual Perception through Devotion.
7th Cosmic Ray, Violet: Connection to the Spiritual Self, Awakening of Higher Levels of Psychic Perception.
Note: The Star of Istar Ritual Keys for the Noble Order of Tara and Druid Clan of Dana have been left very open and are not corresponded to the diagram in the usual way. This accomodates the many priories and groves that were founded and actively teaching for many years before coursework guidelines were first suggested.
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Sources used for this section are the original Fellowship of Isis Handbook, College of Isis Manual and FOI Liturgy books. Everything has been reviewed and approved by Olivia Robertson, with additional comments written by her, Nesu House, Isis Oasis, Geyserville, Tuesday October 11, 2011.