Calling all Kemetic polytheists, Pagans, Tameran Wiccans, ceremonial magicians, FOI members worldwide, devotees of the Neteru of the Two Lands, and friends! All are welcome to the 22nd annual Fellowship of Isis (FOI) Goddess Convention in Chicago! It takes place Saturday, September 26, 2015, at the ManKind Project Building, 1900 W. Fulton Street, Chicago, IL 60612 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (On-site registration begins at 9 a.m.) Mercifully, parking is free and abundant outside the ManKind Project Building–a rarity in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood! Huzzah!
Sponsored by the members and friends of the Chicago-based FOI Lyceums of Eleusis and Alexandria Mishigami; and the Iseums of Hathor-Neith-MahaLakshmi and the Rekhet Akhu; and the Dunsmuir, California-based Lyceum of Karnak; as well as by Chicago’s Life Force Arts Center, this year’s Goddess Convention is dedicated to the Great Ennead of Holy Powers. The Main Liturgy to be performed is the Priesthood Alchemical Drama of “Uranus, Coming Forth by Day”–the sixth ritual in the late Lady Olivia Robertson’s FOI clergy publication, Sphinx: Goddess Myths and Mysteries.
It was deliberately selected not only for its themes of redemption and rebirth–ones that are very relevant in a strife-ridden world where many people are coming to consciousness about stepping up their service to their Powers and the planet as the latter continues to undergo great upheavals–but because it is solely oriented towards the Neteru of Egypt. The performance of this Main Liturgy is a sacred reclamation of “Isis” as a Holy Name of a Great, Ever-Living Goddess–not a besmirched, degraded, and hated name inaccurately assigned as an acronym to depict the egregiously evil deeds of terrorists fueled by a vicious Abrahamic zealotry. There is an urgency behind this reclamation; we love our Goddess in Whose Name our Fellowship is derived and anchored, as we love and adore all the Children of Shu and Tefnut. At this time of the Autumnal Equinox in North America, when energies are focused on giving thanks for a successful harvest and on preparing for the darkness to come, we honor the Powers from Whom manifold blessings flow. The Powers that sustain us. The Powers that light our way through the Duat.
Why a “Convention”?
While these annual Chicago-based gatherings have been referred to in the past couple of years as “Goddess Festivals,” the term “Convention” has been reinstated in honor of Lady Olivia Robertson’s milestone ushering of the Fellowship of Isis to front-and-center prominence at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, which convened in Chicago. Deena Celeste Butta, our late founder of FOI Chicago, worked tirelessly with Lady Olivia and many other FOI members during that Parliament and in the subsequent Isian Conventions that spun off from this historical interfaith gathering, where Pagans and polytheists were brought to the proverbial table (to the ire of many priests, ministers, and imams) for the first time. The subsequent blossoming of various FOI gatherings across the country are also the fruit of those efforts more than 20 years ago. The Parliament of the World’s Religions will once again return to the continental United States this October (Utah), so to avoid any scheduling conflicts since many FOI members will once again be in attendance as standard-bearers of Kemetic polytheism and Isian religiosity, the Chicago Goddess Convention will take place on September 26.
A Call for Presenters
While the Convention will span the entire weekend, beginning with our lauded Chocolate and Champagne Kick-Off Reception the evening of Friday, September 25 (we’re still searching for a good venue to hold it in), and concluding with a Sunday brunch and optional excursion to Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (where there’s a permanent “Inside Ancient Egypt” exhibit) on Sunday, September 27, the heart of the Convention is Saturday, September 26. The day-long activities will include a spate of presentations ranging from 5 to 25 minutes in length on a variety of metaphysical topics, ones that are ideally related to the themes of the Main Liturgy and an exploration of the Deities honored in it.
I’ll be giving a presentation on “The Four Sons of Heru”–Who are They? What are Their associations in ancient Egyptian funerary literature, and how can They factor in contemporary Kemetic devotional practice?
If you’d like to submit an idea for a presentation, you have until August 31 to do so, using this proposal form. The link explains how it should be submitted.
Activities for September 26 include:
- Communing with Neith, Nut, Geb, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Hathor, Thoth, Nephthys, Set, and Anubis
- Delving into current planetary transits for the season and major ones to watch for in 2016
- Reconnecting with spiritual family and community, and meeting like-minded people
- Raising your vibratory level and purging yourself of miasma
- Boosting the local economy by patronizing the vendors of our Isian suq/bazaar
- Celebrating Autumn Equinox
- Remembering our Ancestors, the Mighty Dead, and all those who have gone before us
- Dancing, meditating, learning, networking, feasting, celebrating!
Early registration is $40 per person before September 1; otherwise, it’s $50, including at the door. Senior and low-income discounts are available, as are student discounts at the door with ID. Checks and money orders can be mailed to Demetria Nanos at 6122 S. Kenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637-2840. Registration fee includes coffee, tea, juice, and light snacks. A simple catered lunch can be ordered for an additional $12 per person, with vegetarian and vegan options. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
A Kemetic September to Remember
The 22nd Annual FOI Chicago Goddess Convention takes place 13 days after Chicago Pagan Pride, where I’ll be giving my “For the Love of Set” workshop and devotional ritual! It’s free and open to the public, so if you’re in town before the end of September, come by and say hello! And find a place to hang out for 13 more days so you can make it to the Goddess Convention!
Seriously, I hope to see as many Midwestern Kemetic devotees as I can at one or both events! May the Holy Powers bless you richly and ward you well in your travels! Senebti! Be well!
- ancient Egypt
- Annual Goddess Convention
- call for presenters
- Chicago Pagan Pride
- Deena Butta
- devotional rituals
- Egyptian Paganism
- Fellowship of Isis
- FOI Chicago
- Iseum of the Rekhet Akhu
- Kemetic Reconstructionism
- Lady Olivia Robertson
- Life Force Arts Center
- Lyceum of Alexandria
- Lyceum of Eleusis
- Lyceum of Karnak
- ManKind Project
- Pagan festivals
- Parliament of the World's Religions