FOI Initiate Drama
By: Tigr Lotus SpiritBear
By: Tigr Lotus SpiritBear
I chose to perform the Flamma Vestae on the night of the Blessing Moon during the Lyceum attunement. I read through the Flamma Vestae Ritual the night before I planned to perform it just so I could get an idea of what my role would entail. Already I felt the energy in my room building and warming me, welcoming me. Rhythmic chanting had already begun and continued after I had finished the reading.
The morning of the ritual my Moontime started. It had been so erratic the last few years that I thought I was getting ready to become a crone, but apparently the Gods have other plans for me. My Moontime has always been a very powerful time for me, both magickally and spiritually. It connects me with the Earth in a way that nothing else can. My dreams and meditations are more vivid. It seemed appropriate that I perform the ritual on that night.
I prepared myself with a ritual shower and donned my new white gown. I had already set up the altar, closed the door, the window and the blinds in order to block out all distractions. With only the working candle lit, I turned on a cd of chants and began to attune myself with the Lyceum.
I saw myself in a white marble temple with many others dressed in white already there. I introduced myself and felt a warm welcome enveloping me. I heard a gong and knew it was time for the ritual. I stepped forward through a set of double doors into a sandstone room. There were lit torches on the walls and a red carpet laid on the floor, and at the far end of it, an altar. Behind the altar Deity was waiting. I approached them filled with love, anticipation, and humility.
On both sides of the room there were chanters and drummers. As I passed them, the volume of the chanting increased, and I heard myself chanting along with them. Then I was there, standing in front of the glorious Gods.
At this point, I opened my eyes and began to read the ritual. In my mind, I “heard” each participant speaking their own part, as I did when it was my turn. The power and love that emanated from them almost brought me to tears. When it came to the part where I was to meditate, I did so, and as I did I was joined by two men who had been my teachers many years ago and who have passed on. They stood on each side of me and held my hands and smiled at me. They let me know that being here in this ritual and joining this Lyceum was where I was supposed to be, the next step in my spiritual journey, and that they were happy for me.
Before the ritual, I had laid some extra items on the altar. This being the Blessing Moon, I wanted to take some time to bless and consecrate some new tools and jewelry that I had acquired. This I did. I didn’t want the ritual to end. I wanted it to last forever. It brought so much back to me that I had been lacking in my life for so long. This was the first ritual I had cast in a long time, and it was like taking a breath of fresh air after a long period of confinement. I let myself enjoy the warmth and the energy of the moment.
When I felt it was time, I resumed the ritual, closing it and thanking all for attending and for giving me this great gift. It felt like I was finally coming home.
By: Cerridwen Awen Quinne
I performed the Flamma Vestae on January 29th during the Lyceum’s scheduled ritual time. The experience was beautiful, but the highlight was the meditation with the Goddess. I dedicated a new Iseum, the Iseum of the Seven Sisters, to Cerridwen. She has revealed Herself to me as being somehow connected to the Pleiades. During the meditation, I saw Cerridwen sitting on Her throne amongst the stars, and She said to me, “The Goddess of the Seven Sisters welcomes you.” It was a simple, but affirming experience, and I realized that although I am considered to be “the founder” of the Iseum, in truth, I am just the first (incarnated human) initiate, for Her Iseum already exists! And She has accepted me!
A few days later, I was driving when I heard Her voice again: “Go forth my child and teach your brothers and sisters My Mysteries.”
By: Sentier de la Source
In doing Ritual work I have often found that the preparation immediately before the ritual is often the most spiritually intense time for me. In meditating on the words of the ritual, and the meanings of the items required all can induce a state of seeing and being with the Goddess, in some guise or another.
In the case of the Flammae Vesta ritual it was no different. I selected white cherry blossom from my garden, as being the most readily available white flower, and water from an old washing pool, fed by spring water from the hill, where village women used to gather to wash the family’s clothes at one time. As I walked with my dog on the side of the hill, listening to the sheep and lambs in the pen and looking down on the town, I realised that the cherry blossom had more significance than I had thought. The lovely white blossom will in time turn to luscious black fruit that will cover the tree, making food for me and for the birds. So the ritual is an opening that will lead perhaps to further riches.
That evening before I went to sleep I had a vision of the village women for hundreds of years, meeting and talking as they washed their clothes, sharing sorrows, laughing and passing on news. I felt very strongly that the Spirit of the spring had also been there, a young woman in pale green, sitting with dress turned up and her feet in the water as the women scrubbed and splashed. The water I had collected, and that was awaiting the ritual, was part of this tradition of women, of the Sacred not separate from, but bound up in, the Everyday.
Putting on a simple robe and jewellery for the ritual itself, I noticed how this act sets apart the actions, out of everyday life into a different, timeless space. My own reflection in the mirror seemed like and yet not like the everyday me. The ritual itself passed as I normally find them, with just a strong and deep feeling of peace, like the final chords of a great symphony, without which the symphony would not be complete.
I have been thinking lately about my own spiritual nature, as I in horoscope terms I am very ‘watery’ and I have been thinking about Anahita, she of the waters, an All-Mother, ‘strong and humid’. The night after the ritual, as I was waking in the morning I came into a sacred dream-space. Ardvi Sura Anahita was there, and taking my hand in a very firm grip, she took me to the edge of a huge river, full of boats and ships. It smelled of water, mud and fecundity. Her hair streamed behind her, thick and waving, but I could not see Her face. She raised my hand and put a ring on my finger, which I thought was of silver. Then, without speaking She let me know that it was Platinum, and that this was a symbol of Her, and that I had to take it, and that I would find out what it symbolised in due course. When I woke up properly, I felt re-vitalised and immediately set about some chores that I have been putting off!
By: Cerridwen Amenti
I was really looking forward to this Rite all week long and I prepared fully. I casted a full Egyptian Circle as I noticed that Isis and Osiris and Tehuti were invoked in the Flamma Vestae Rite. I had written an Egyptian Samhain Ritual for my Coven which I never used and so I thought I would use the Erecting of the Temple part of it for these Rites.
From the moment I started I felt the connection; not only to the Gods but to the College. The energy was strong. I have noticed that one of the biggest differences between Earth Magic and Sky Magic is the feeling of euphoria and lightness. I have been practicing Low Magic or Earth Magic for 5 years and although it is very gratifying there is an element of raw earthiness. The pull is mostly from the lower chakras – very sexual. With High Magic, or Egyptian Magic, the energy is that of the higher chakras; Spiritual in its essence. Sublime, almost.
The whole Ritual was very “high”; and light; and filled with ecstatic love. I know this sounds a bit corny, but it is the only way that I can describe it. The energy was palpable and I could feel the presence of Isis, Osiris and Tehuti. I was ready to enact the Flamma Vestae Rite.
As I began to read the Oracle, I felt Vesta’s presence. It was subtle but She was there. The words were very moving. At first I thought it would feel strange reading all the parts but it wasn’t and where I could, I read the parts as myself, the Candidate. My first clue that Deity was present was with my request to seek membership within the Fellowship of Isis. For weeks I have been struggling with a Craft name for my Egyptian practice. I have used Cerridwen from the beginning and I will always be Cerridwen, however, this is a very Welsh name and it carries that energy and I did not think it appropriate to use with my worship of the Egyptian Pantheon. As I came to the part where I say my name, very naturally the names Cerridwen Amenti flowed from my lips. This was a revelation! I was thrilled as I liked the name Amenti from the first time I saw it. Tonight it became crystal clear. As I said Cerridwen, Amenti followed of its own volition. And it felt so right. And I was thrilled.
I continued reading through the Rite and it felt so beautiful and right that I should be here, at this moment, doing just this. When I lit my small candle from Vesta’s Hearth, it was a powerful moment. I felt that my own Inner Light has become stronger and that it would not “go out” easily after tonight. I felt the warmth of this Light, Her Light, within my heart region and my Solar Plexus region. And then as I read Apuleius’ words, I too felt accepted, not only as a member of the College of Isis and the Crossroads Lyceum, but as a Votary of Isis and very much Her Priestess. This was a very special moment for me. I felt such gratitude for Her calling me and having chosen me to come to Her and learn of Her many secrets and Mysteries. I also felt tremendous gratitude for having found the Fellowship of Isis which in turn led me to the Crossroads Lyceum.
As I sat for meditation I felt great peace and joy enveloping me. I felt I needed to do nothing except just sit and allow for this wonderful energy to bathe me. I remember I had a smile on my lips. It was at this point that I became very aware of the difference between the two Pantheons and why Isis had come to me several months ago. I had done my magical work with the Earth, now it was time to learn and work the higher energies; those of the Sky and of my Lady Isis and Her Lord Osiris and greatest of all Sages, Tehuti. It is time now to bring my energies into the higher realms – the higher chakras.
What a wonderful feeling this was – knowing the purpose of the Call. It is not that I have to give up one for the other, but now I have access to both and together they become a great balance, not only in my Magical life but in my mundane life as well. Amma Iset!
It seemed the perfect night to perform the initiation into the Crossroads Lyceum and the College of Isis; not only was it Monday night, the night of our attunement, but Venus was making a miraculous sojourn between the earth and sun. Truly , change is imminent, and I wanted to mark my own change and declare my connection to Isis and Osiris as I enter a new phase in my life.
I spent some time preparing for the ritual. I recorded all the speaking parts that were not mine (the candidate's) and designed my altar according to the layout as I learned from a Celtic tradition: the four elements and directions were represented. An Isis statuette was placed on the right while Osiris was on the left: Divine Polarity is balanced. I lit incense, took a purifying shower, and began my ritual by first calling on Anubis's black dogs, the dragons, Archangels, and the Guardian for protection against unwanted little beasties. My guides were around me, some occasionally touching my shoulders. I chose to perform the ritual skyclad. I sat for the reading of the oracle, meditating on and absorbing the words spoken. Saint Germaine appeared behind the altar, but when I tried to see him with my physical eyes, he quickly "disappeared". I continued on with the ritual, reading my lines at the appropriate time. When it was time to accept the scroll of Thoth, I realized that I had forgotten to place one on my altar, and so I held out my hand as if I actually were holding a scroll when a white-robed guide "appeared" and placed one in my hand (astrally). I laughed and said, "Thanks". At some point, another guide draped a white garb over my shoulders.
Throughout the ritual, the energy was very "high", and I felt very spacey. At the close of the ritual, I released the protectors, dressed, and just sat in front of my altar. I meditated again, and in swirls of violet light, I saw the dark-haired woman whom I have been seeing every Monday night during attunements; I knew that she was connected to the Lyceum and perhaps confirmed that the intention of the ritual had been realized. I opened my eyes and meditated on the statuette of Isis. Light pervaded and emanated from Her. Her expression seemed to shift occasionally.
That night, during sleep, I had a smattering of visions, but the most notable one was of a rock-like wall that moved to reveal another world: I know that a gateway is being opened. When I awakened, I felt as if something had indeed changed and remembered having the thought, "I feel as if I have left my past behind me now." One of my guides said, "You have." Throughout the day, I felt "out of it", just exhausted. I decided to nap and upon waking from my nap, I heard a voice say, "It is an honor to have your presence in our Fellowship." With my eyes still closed, I saw Isis dressed in her long, flowing white garb; its length draped around her feet and blanketed the floor. She was at a great distance from me, so I could not make out her facial expression or the details of her garb and the white crown or headband that she appeared to be wearing. Later during the day, the dark-haired lady "appeared" and anointed my third eye.
The next day was hectic and I felt exhausted again. I took another 30 minute nap, and this time I woke to the voice of a woman: "Mystical skills are often obtained after performing a ritual," she said. Then I heard mention of some of my "mystical skills", which I assume will be opening-up for me as I progress. There is no doubt in my mind that the Fellowship and College of Isis are inspired and blessed by the Goddess. I am grateful that She has guided me to them.
I had performed the Flamma Vestae ritual. After that, I kept sitting in meditation. I was lying before the statue of Isis in her temple that I visited on the inner planes. The Goddess Isis took me by the hand and showed me a beautiful landscape; Her world. I expected a heavy task to be laid down on my shoulders but She told me that my task is not great and heavy. She said for me to work in my own modest way and enjoy Her gifts. She led me through various appearances; a bird, a fish, a small digging animal and the flames of a fire. It was marvellous and I was touched in a profound way.
By: Linda J.
I was planning to perform the Flamma Vestae Ritual with everyone else on Mid-Winter night with all of those others who have chosen to follow the Goddess. I was very excited and happy that I was going to finally commit myself to what for me has been a long and lonely struggle to make sense of my feelings and beliefs.
I worked my graveyard shift, stayed up in the morning to obtain my supplies, and I noticed the synchronicity that occurred as I ran my errands. Simple things, like walking into a store to obtain a white candle next to the entrance door were silk white flowers. Walking past a closed dry cleaners on my way to the florist were 5 beautiful white dresses, hanging in their plastic bags. (I actually stopped and counted them as they were beautiful evening dresses). Finding a new book called Twilight Goddess at my favorite used book store. Then I arrived home and turned on the TV to see the Space Shuttle disaster on every station. My heart hurt so much for all those waiting in Florida to greet their loved and dear ones. I stayed tuned till NASA gave their report, then feeling heart sick and heart sore I finally went to bed at 3 pm.
When I awoke it was 8 pm. I felt disoriented and weary in mind, body and spirit. As I set about preparing my alter a sense of wrongness and sorrow seeped in. For me, performing this ritual is a new beginning, a new growth for me. I can rationalize that out of all endings there always comes new beginnings, that one should always move on as those that have left would want us to continue in life, but I could not shake the feeling of wrongness and selfishness. That I should celebrate my new growth and commitment to the Goddess on this date just did not feel right to me. Though I know she would welcome me, she was needed so much more by others now in their time of need. I truly felt that the Goddess knew these feelings in me, that she knows my commitment, even if I did not perform the ritual as planned. She has taught me to be more compassionate in my dealings with others, that my celebration could wait till I and she was ready. So I did not perform the ritual that night. Once I had decided that, I felt so much better, in my mind, body and spirit. There is a time for mourning and a time for celebration. Each in their proper place and time.
It has now been 2 weeks and 1 day since that night. I awoke with a sense of urgency, though for what I did not know. Coffee, I thought, as nice jolt of caffeine is always needed by those who work a graveyard shift. So once the coffee cleared the cobwebs from my brain the sense of urgency increased. Then I saw the beautiful full moon rise, and I knew what the urgency was. The Goddess was telling me in her own way... See how beautiful my moon is tonight. So full, so bright, so large and full of promises... Now is the time.
I began to set up my alter, cleaning and clearing my space and also my mind, for once I started to prepare for the ritual the sense of urgency left, replaced by a sense of calmness, rightness. My shower had an even calmer effect on me so that wearing a simple white slip as the only totally white garment I own didn’t matter. In a way I could almost feel her laughing gently at my silly worry about my choice of clothing. It’s the intent, the commitment, and open honesty with yourself and the Goddess that matters. Not all the trappings.
I read the entire ritual aloud, all the parts, and found myself at times close to tears, yet a silent joy seemed to be spreading through my entire soul at the same time. I felt and still feel this quiet joyful calmness that has let all these word flow with ease as I type them. I feel as if I am floating in a calm sea, or in the midst of the eye of a storm. Calming Peace is the best I can describe it. All the conflict going on in the world, all the inhumanity against man and our beautiful planet, this has all receded for the time being. The Goddess is giving me a safe peaceful haven for tonight, a place I can return to when needed. Knowing that she has offered and given me this and feels I am entitled to this fills my heart with such sweet joy. Knowing I can also return is something I will never forget. The world, in time, will come crashing back in with all it’s horrors, but for tonight I am safe and I am loved.
I took a good deal of time preparing for the rite, reading through the words of the ritual several times over a period of two or three weeks to be sure that I understood all that it said, that it was right for me, that I could truthfully speak every word from my heart when the time came. I found a small alabaster vase to hold my flower offering, and a lovely white altar cloth. I gathered the feather of a mourning dove from my garden: not all white, but I knew for sure that it had been shed in peace, and had not come from a slaughtered bird. I created a gift to the Goddess from a piece of Selenite, which I wrapped in silver wire threaded through small amethyst beads and rose quartz stars. In the time leading up to the rite I cleansed and consecrated my ritual space, altar and all the items to be used.
I performed the rite during the Lyceum tune-in hour and I began by casting a circle in the way that I usually do before an observance or ritual. Early on I was pleasantly surprised to feel that I really was joined by other friendly energies, and I felt that their collective presence was somehow heightening the atmosphere within the circle. In spite of this, a small voice of doubt tried to intrude - "this is a ritual written by someone else, it won’t be effective because it didn’t come from me, I’m rushing, nothing is happening for me. . .etc". I thanked the voice for its input, told it I was busy, and persevered, regaining focus. Somehow I was reading more quickly than usual, but the words were beautiful and energy began to rush through me impelling me to read, to feel the meaning of each phrase and suddenly I was full of emotion, tearful, joyous, grateful. I took the oath in both my earthly name and in the name I use only when greeting the Goddess and God. I felt . . . new. The room was very quiet as I meditated, eyes closed, and silently spoke the words "I do this for You, for You, all for You, to be closer, ever closer to You", and I was full of emotion, the kind of mixture of joy and sadness one feels when one has returned home after a long, difficult absence - what took me so long to get here? In my mind’s inner space there was a sudden, powerful spin of silver white light, a vortex of silver energy that I knew was the light of Selene, and I was instantly comforted by the swirl of Her power and gentleness, and felt blessed with great tenderness as Her words blew through my being: "I know, daughter."
I had felt the Lady’s presence before, but this was something new: previous experiences had been like hearing a whisper from behind a veil, where this was like hearing clear notes of song, and far more intimate. The power of this experience took me by surprise, as have the continuing reverberations of it. It feels as though my awareness of Spirit has been gently amplified, as though someone turned the volume up on my vibrational receiver just a notch or two. I feel it in my meditations, in my daily activities, in the energy field around my very skin which feels larger and brighter than it ever has before.
By: White Raven
For the offerings/gifting portion of the rite instead of offering a white flower to Isis & Osiris I chose to offer a red stone I had picked up in the desert of Sedona. It's such a special stone and will go on forever as the Goddess & God do where a flower is so fleeting. My offering was accepted, so I feel it was right to make the change. For my gift to the Old Ones I presented a small lizard figurine. To me he represents dreaming and is of the Spiritual realm. He'll stay on my altar as a visual reminder of my dedication to this new spiritual path of learning.
As I sat reflecting upon the ritual, my dedication to this spiritual work, the Lyceum and what I can contribute I felt fully attuned to all the other Lyceum members. I could also clearly see my sharing the teachings with others after a time. I felt a wonderful sense of peace wash over me. I felt light and airy, the way I always do during ritual.
As I sat, I felt Her behind me. Felt Her arms go round me and heard the words, "You are pure of heart, sharp of mind and have depth of soul. You will go far as long as you continue to seek knowledge and continue to reinvent yourself." Then She was gone. I was left feeling very warm, soft limbed, balanced and at peace. Also with a strong, well-formed intent with regard to where the next level of my spirituality will lead. Since my son was born in August 2001 I haven't been able to spend as much time on my spiritual work as I am used to doing. I now see clearly ways in which I may devote myself to my spiritual studies/work and still meet all of Adam's physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
When I closed the rite I spent more time on reflection, then on grounding my energies. Since performing the rite I feel newly energized and with a great desire for focused study. I feel very centered, peaceful and newly empowered.
By: Sophie K.K.
When I went into meditation, Vesta appeared before me, wearing a white robe and veil. She held a lighted candle before Her breast, but also behind it there was an inner flame, glowing out from within Her breast through Her clothes. She looked very familiar to me, and I felt I knew Her well and recognized Her. She acknowledged this , saying that I had served Her through many lifetimes. I caught just a glimpse of a woman in a Roman temple, tending a sacred fire, and knew this was myself in another life. Vesta then said that, although I still served the Sacred Flame, in this life I was to serve It differently. At this moment, Brighid appeared at Her side, also bearing a Flame on Her brow, and wearing deep red bordered with gold (She usually wears red in my visions of Her). I understood from Them that they are kindred, Sisters of the Flame.
I have had many, many monastic lives during the Age of Pisces and perhaps the Age of Aries as well; some were devoted to Vesta or other Hearth deities, some to Saint Brigit of Kildare , and some to the Great Britta before Christianity--- this I already knew from other journeys and studies. During much of my present life I've desired a monastic vocation, and searched for tradition through which to accomplish it. Now Vesta said to me that this was not my path. Servants of the Flame are needed to live in the mundane world, and heal it from "inside the system." Worship of the Goddess through daily life is a powerful service. Furthermore, it is more useful for my personal growth at this time than a retreat into monastic prayer. After speaking, the Goddesses remained awhile with me in silence, while I pondered their words. They then invited me to turn my thoughts to attunement with the Lyceum, and faded from sight.
By: Mick O. C.
I planned the ritual to take advantage of the Lyceum's attunement time and the New Moon. I prepared for the ritual for two days. The first day I created my gift of dedication. I made a sculpture of Isis clothed in white linen with Her throne symbol upon Her head. I have only been sculpting for two weeks, but was so overjoyed with the outcome of my work. Truly, She was guiding my hands.
I spent most of the day preparing for the ritual. I decided to take a new name for this period in my life and had a short ritual declaring this name to Isis before beginning Flamma Vestae.
The words of the ritual rang so true. Everything flowed. It was apparent that this is the right path for me to travel. During the meditation there was a growing light around me. I felt connected to all those who have traveled this path before me. I saw the Goddess smile lovingly upon me and felt her acceptance.
After the ritual, I restored my 'everyday' shrine, lit candles, burned incense, and offered my remaining flowers. I meditated a short time on my candles and had a vision of a bright red flame flying on golden wings; the Phoenix spoke of in the Oracle. Later that night, I also had the same vision in a dream. I believe that I was being told through the Phoenix visions that I had been re-born into a new life with Her.
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