Posted by: aediculaantinoi | November 21, 2013

And, a further cause for jubilation…

I mentioned in my previous post that my poetic efforts for this year’s three-day Festival of the Imperial Visit to the Colossoi of Memnon would be focused in a slightly different direction; you are about to see what direction that is–or, more specifically, whose direction.

Hopefully, many of you listened to Wyrd Ways Radio last night, where Sannion and Galina did an excellent, moving, and touching tribute to Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson of the Fellowship of Isis. As no one was calling, and I got a bit of a prompt to do so myself, I called in and spoke with them for a few moments before the system (as it did last time) kicked me off without warning…and, I ended up speaking for another three to five minutes before I realized I was no longer on the show, thinking that whole time that my statements were just being pondered deeply by the usually much-more-vocal interlocutors. Oops. 😉 Sannion did a short post on it as a kind of wrap-up as well.

It was, indeed, an excellent show, and a wonderful tribute to an extraordinary, important, influential, and path-carving woman who should never be forgotten.

In the course of my thinking about Lady Olivia last night, I remembered something: in 2004, I was contacted by an individual from a Lyceum of the Fellowship of Isis that was located in Florida, whose Lyceum was dedicated to Aphrodite and Antinous. While it seems to have changed locations, it does still exist, and I hope to make contact with them in the near future…

In her work of connecting people with the gods, though, I can’t help but see Lady Olivia’s hand directly in this in some fashion or other, even if I am not aware of the details currently, and maybe will not ever be…that’s not as important as the fact that this did exist, and did so before the modern Ekklesía Antínoou existed certainly, and before modern organized Antinoan devotion existed either. So, as I said on the radio show last night, Lady Olivia was on the “Antinous-train” before I was, so to speak! 😉

As a result, the honoring of her that has been done here on the last two days, though I did not know it when I began to do so two days ago, is to a specific purpose: Lady Olivia will be a Sancta of the Ekklesía Antínoou, effective immediately. She will be honored in the category of “Dedicants to and Messengers of Antinous”; I wasn’t sure if she should be in that category, or in the “Venerable Exemplars of Spirituality”–a category with fewer individuals in it, but no less important for that. I learned through divination last night with the Ephesia Grammata that the former rather than the latter was appropriate for her, and I shall trust that determination, no matter what the finding of further details might reveal about the situation on an historical level.

[And, to pre-empt any nay-sayers who might wish to cast dispersions, or suggest that Lady Olivia is not someone that I, a dyed-in-the-wool polytheist, should be honoring considering she and the Fellowship of Isis have some monistic tendencies–tough. It’s well within historical precedent for Isiacs to have such tendencies, as anyone who has read Apuleius in late antiquity, or Isidorus’ hymns to Isis from Medinet Madi in earlier antiquity, knows very well. Let there be no further word on the matter, for like any Sancta/e/i, she is admirable even when I may not agree point-for-point with her, or any of them!]

To facilitate her sanctification, I would ask all who are willing, able, and interested to please do the following (modified from our usual rubrics, and only in English rather than in English and Latin) ritual for her to welcome her as a Sancta.

Sanctification Ritual

We. the gathered faithful of Antinous, in collaboration and with one voice, do declare:

We call out the name of Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson, echoing the praises of her spiritual descendants and prolonging the memory of her life in the world, and add her name to the litany of the Blessed Ones forever.

We exalt her body, honor her bones, feel her blood run into the rivers and seas of the earth, and uphold her holy images–both of her person and which she crafted herself of so many deities–and know that like a phoenix from the flames of birth and death, she has been elevated to the stars and into the company of the Celestial Boat of Antinous for all the ages.

We take up the wisdom of her words, the virtues of her actions, and the true example of her earthly works, and we divide these out to be shared by all the faithful who remain in this life, to be drunk like clear and pure water to revivify and nourish.

We scatter upon the winds the renown of her deeds and the fullness of her knowledge, Venerable Lady Olivia, that it may be spread to every corner of the world, the farthest shores and the highest points, so that it might encircle all like the ouroboros who swallows its own tail.

Blessed Lady Olivia,
By your light, we redeem you from all slander;
By your darkness, we accept you in every part;
By your love, we embrace you as a Blessed One;
By your truest nature, we acknowledge you as holy.

By your teachings, may we be elevated;
By your life, may you be celebrated;
By your death, may you be deified.

In her own words, from “The Mystery of the Labyrinth” in Dea: Rites and Mysteries of the Goddess:

As you face the gateway into birth you receive my shining cord. But as you penetrate deeper and still deeper into the Labyrinth of time and space, the thread becomes thinner, more ghostly. For as you remember my thread, it becomes strong; and when you forget it, it wanes. As you move through the years you leave behind you a spiral pattern of the thread, that brings you memory of your true being. Yet you look ahead and see no light: the light is behind you.

When you reach the nadir of the Labyrinth, and face that which you most fear, you may drop the thread. But fear not! I am always with you, though you see me not. I am Conscience, and my Mother is Nature and my Father is Philosophy. Call upon me and I shall aid you: so are you saved by my grace, and not by your own will. And this must be. For who would be saved through the separate self, rather than be aided by the Immortal Beloved!

So you return through the mazy windings of the Labyrinth, but now you face the cord and it gleams before you like my Silver Snake. And when you reach the entrance of the Double Axe, you soar above the Maze and look down upon it. And now you see the meaning of the pattern, and enjoy its beauty. And you aid others who lose their way in it as you did, and lead them to their goal.

Holy Lady Olivia,
May your light illuminate the universe, give color to the flowers, and shine like a strand in the grand web of Antinous’ glory.

Sancta Olivia,
Be blessed, be praised, be glorified!





“Ariadne,” Lady Olivia Durdin-Robertson

Sancta Olivia was a prolific artist, not only visually with paintings and such, as well as with very poetic liturgies, but also with ritual and with temple and shrine spaces. Here’s a small fraction of some of the goddesses and gods she honored in her temple over the years. As Galina and Sannion said last night, making art to honor her and share with others is an excellent thing to do…

So, I’ll try my hand at that now, with a poem I will write for her…

Sancta Olivia

Though she made what some called a “dungeon”
into a temple of the goddesses and gods,
she did not have to stay underground
for years like Pachrates of Heliopolis
to find favor and be taught the mysteries of Isis.
Her flower bloomed forth in sunlight,
in the sight of beloved deities at day
for decades numbering the wanderers of the heavens.
May her soul not wander, but instead guide with its light.

Hers was not only the founding of temples,
but of teaching locations, the Lyceums of Isis.
Apollon was honored as Lykeios by Aristotle
in his academy, and she carried that name on
as sure as ideas are stimulated by long walks;
the Irish of Ossory, her own people, were wolf-lead,
and wolf-taught by goddesses and gods
like Apollon and his sister Artemis from distant Delos.
May she nurture like a she-wolf protects her pups.

Though she was no dark one like Scáthach,
her home was a retreat, an otherworld isle on the Isle,
where the future heroes of the land and the gods
would be trained and taught the hero-feats of piety;
the Morrígan, sometime she-wolf, the pillar of warriors
showed through in the Lady of Clonegal’s devotions…
She knew well the language of werewolves, in Irish,
was the same as the language of learning all worth knowing…
May Brigit give her water and fire, and Ériu earth…

And may her own breath in her mouth be restored
to give new life to her words in every generation.
When does Osiris search for Isis?
Though he may search, she is whole, as was Sabina
when she went to death before Hadrian, but after Antinous-Osiris.
She is past the ninth wave off Ireland’s shore,
but the Boat of Millions of Years is her refuge now–
its sails the wings of Isis, her goddess supreme.
May Lady Olivia Sancta be ever-praised and remembered!


  1. Thank you for this. I think Olivia would adore it, and be very pleased to hear about your service to Antinous and all the blessed ones. I’ve been meditating through my grief myself on her honesty, an honesty which called me to my own gods, and then kept me faithful to them, long ago. She will be missed, and never replaced.

    • Thank you for linking to your own reflections on her passing…that is wonderful and fascinating!

      (Also, I’ve just added your blog to the blogroll, which I should have done a million years ago…!?!)

      I kick myself even harder now for not having gone to Clonegal while I was in Ireland. (“Follow Me Down to Carlow” has been going through my head today because of her, I think!)

    • Thank you for your testimony, Tamara. That was very beautiful, and actually brought me to tears. I wish I had known of her before now.

  2. And funnily enough Lupus, I actually know one of the members of the Lyceum of Antinopolis. I got a chance to meet him at PantheaCon this year, a friend of one of the elders in my coven (the one, incidently, who crafted the Antinous incense we used at Foundation Day….).

    • Oh! You should have told me of his existence! I’d love to meet anyone who is involved with Antinous in any fashion…

      Will you be at PantheaCon this year as well? If so, maybe you can introduce, if this other individual is there as well…

      And, I need new potential Luperci who will be there, so if you have any ideas on that, let me know…

  3. […] appeared; but, the one that certainly takes the cake for me in that regard was the show in honor of Sancta Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson, which you can hear here, and of which it was a true honor to be a […]

  4. […] greater modern pagan and polytheist communities lost two important elders and tradition-founders: Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson and Rev. Dr. Eddy Hyperion Gutiérrez. Both are now, and have been, Sancta/e/i of the Ekklesía […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s