As the Executive Editor, I’m very pleased to announce that the Autumn issue of Isis-Seshat, the quarterly journal of the worldwide Fellowship of Isis (FOI), is now available! Eighty pages–the longest issue to date–of stunningly beautiful (each issue is printed in full color on 80-lb. high-gloss paper stock) and theologically provocative essays, poetry, prayers, and original artwork from Polytheists (Kemetic devotees and others), Pagans, international FOI clergy, and U.S.-based artists delve into the subject of navigating “Dark Nights of the Soul.”
I chose this theme because it’s an important one, one that I personally have never seen addressed in “alternative spirituality” circles. Also, I know too many people who are in the throes of grief (myself included), mourning the losses of family members and experiencing other major losses in their lives. How does one cope when her devotional practices are affected by these losses, and she experiences a sense of disconnection from her Powers or general stagnancy as a result? What about the effects of depression, or the anxiety and confusion that ensues from acknowledging that a way of life or a belief has been sundered but you’ve yet to envision, let alone manifest, what’s coming to replace it?
This issue is dedicated to showcasing how folks address those questions, and how they’ve become transformed in the process. Thirteen contributors (including me) share their experiences of voyaging through the Dark Nights of the Soul. It’s a part of what it means to be a self-aware human being; there’s no escaping the journey. Going through it leaves an indelible imprint on our souls. And it’s my sincere hope that the content in this special Isis-Seshat issue will bring comfort and understanding to all who struggle through their Dark Nights voyages. There’s soulful medicine in the contributions, as the table of contents illustrates–and I want to extend a huge shout-out of thanks to the contributors!
- FOI Archpriestess-Hierophant Rt. Rev. Demetria Nanos of the Lyceum of Alexandria-Mishigami, Chicago: “Hekate in Triplicity,” “A Dream and a Day of Oyá,” “Healing Prayer for Us All”
- FOI Archpriest-Hierophant Rt. Rev. Michael Starsheen of the Temple of Isis of the Stars (Dunsmuir, California): “The 2015 FOI West Coast Convocation: A Report,” “The Goddess Guided Me Through the Darkness”
- Noted Celtic studies author and FOI Archpriestess Rt. Rev. Caitlín Matthews of the Lyceum Domus Sophiae Terrae et Sanctae Gradalis (Oxford, England): “Prayer for Purification in Illness”
- “Coming from the Heart”: An Exclusive Interview with FOI and Kemetic Reconstructionist Priest Rev. Ptahmassu Nofraa-Uaa of the Temple of Ptah, Nevada; he also shares his beautiful devotional poem to Hathor, “A Doorway to My Heart”
- Northern Tradition Polytheist and author Galina Krasskova presents an essay on “Choice”
- Chicago-based FOI priest-in-training and Freemason Daniel Noga shares how the Goddess Hekate helps him cope with seasonal affective disorder in “Bearing the Torch: Surviving SAD”
- Philadelphia-based solitary Kemetic devotee Grey Nightsky offers a lovely “Prayer to Hathor on the Loss of a Loved One”
- Suffolk, England-based FOI Priestess-Hierophant and battered women’s shelter director Rev. Iona Winton details the mission of her “Temple of Asase Yaa & the Lost Angels”
- Virginia-based FOI Priestess Rev. Donna M. Swindells offers clarity in asking “Is This the Dark Night of the Soul?”
- Melbourne, Australia-based FOI Priestess and founder of the Lyceum of Heka, Rev. Tina Georgitsis, shares “Illuminating the Path: How I Devoted Myself to Hekate”
- For a fictional interlude, FOI ArchDruid Most Reverend Kiel Milner (Vitki Kiel) of the Dunsmuir, California-based Temple of Karnak brings us the fourth installment in his tale of “Odin the Wanderer Encounters Magister Dragon”
- Kemetic Priestess Carolyn Hawkins of the Chicago-based Temple of Kheperu em Inu dares us to peek into her “Stained Glass Mirror” poem
- And then here’s what I, Rev. Anna Applegate as Priestess and Founder of the FOI Chicago-based Iseum of the Rekhet Akhu, bring to the table: my editorial, “Shining a Spotlight on Dark Nights of the Soul”; my poetry, both profane (“Tremors”) and sacred (“Presentation of Offerings to Nebet-Het: Ritual Devotion”); and my scathing book review of Tomás Prower’s newly released La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic & Mysticism of Death
Accompanying these soulful words are original, appearing-for-the-first-time-in-print works of art by J. Adams, Jovan Radakovich, and Thalo Kersey! Thank you for sharing your powerful, disturbing, and impactful pieces with Isis-Seshat’s readers!
This issue has a very limited print run, with, as of this morning, only 19 copies left. If you’d like to purchase yours, please email me at hekua dot yansa at gmail dot com. Contributors to Isis-Seshat always receive a free copy, so if you’d like to consider submitting content, the deadline for the Winter issue is Friday, January 22, 2016…but that call for submissions merits a separate blog post!
Blessings on you all and happy Friday the 13th!