Calling all Kemetic and Hellenic polytheists, Pagans, ceremonial magicians, FOI members worldwide, devotees of the Neteru of the Two Lands, devotees of the Deathless Hosts of Olympos, and friends! All are welcome to the 24th annual Fellowship of Isis (FOI) Goddess Convention in Chicagoland! It takes place Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Holiday Inn North Shore Chicago (Skokie Business Center), 5300 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie, IL 60077, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (On-site registration begins at 9 a.m.) Plenty of room to move and to park as the hotel has, naturally, free visitor parking and a plethora of access points via mass transit. FOI members flying in from out of state are eligible to receive a discounted room rate at the hotel.
Sponsored by the members and friends of the Chicago-based FOI Lyceums of Eleusis and Alexandria Mishigami; the Iseum of the Rekhet Akhu and the Iseum of Hathor-Neith-MahaLakshmi; the Kemetic Temple Kheperu em Inu; and by Chicago’s Life Force Arts Center, this year’s Goddess Convention is dedicated to the Titan Goddess and Cosmic Law-Giver, Themis. The Main Liturgy to be performed is the Priesthood Alchemical Drama “The Riddle of the Sphinx”—the first ritual in the late Lady Olivia Robertson’s FOI clergy publication, Fortuna: Creation Through the Goddess.
This ritual is going to be performed as a badly needed act of healing (one of many!) for our strife-riven, despotically driven country and our hurting, justice-deprived planet overall. Themis is the Mother of the Seasons, the Bringer of Order and Justice. The ritual features the Oracle of Themis as well as the enactment of a Mystery Play and an Upperworld Journey through the conjoined constellations of Virgo and Libra, whose combined iconography forms that of the Goddess of Justice, Harvester and Judge.
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.
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, October 27, and concluding with a Sunday brunch and optional excursion to the Oriental Institute (OI) on the campus of the world-renowned University of Chicago on October 29, as the OI just launched a new exhibit on the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the heart of the Convention is Saturday, October 28. The day-long activities will include a spate of presentations and performances ranging from 15 to 45 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.
Given that we’re well into the Samhain season and that I enjoy sharing my own devotional practices, I’ll be giving a presentation on “Virgin Death Goddesses,” focusing on Three in particular Whom I honor in my own cultic practices (i.e., La Santa Muerte, Hel, and Yewa).
If you’d like to submit an idea for a presentation or workshop, you have until October 14 to do so. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
Activities for the main ritual day on October 28 include:
- Communing with the Goddesses Themis, Gaia, Demeter, Ma’at, Isis, Fortuna, Hestia, and Nemesis
- Raising your vibratory level and purging yourself of miasma
- Reconnecting with spiritual family and community, and meeting like-minded people
- Celebrating the Samhain current and honoring all those who have gone before us, from family members that died this year to Pagan luminaries such as Raymond Buckland
- Delving into current planetary transits for the season and major ones to watch for in 2018
- Boosting the local economy by patronizing the vendors at our “Titans’ Tables”
- Dancing, meditating, learning, networking, feasting, celebrating!
Early registration is $50 per person before October 21; otherwise, it’s $60, including at the door. Senior and low-income discounts are available, as are student discounts at the door with ID. PayPal funds can be emailed to the attention of my Archpriestess, Demetria Nanos, at email@example.com. Alternatively, checks and money orders can be snail mailed to Demetria’s attention at 6122 S. Kenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637-2840. The registration fee includes daylong refreshments. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
See You in Skokie!
Come join us and weave heka (magic) in the world so that Justice may reign! Ela, Themis!