Last September at Chicago Pagan Pride, I came across an old acquaintance in the Chicago Pagan community whom, I discovered, runs a weekly AM radio show (streamed online via Que4.org) called Magick Radio Chicago. I was asked about the idea of consenting for an interview with other Chicago Fellowship of Isis members to discuss the organization and our thoughts on Chicago’s Pagan communities (I prefer the plural term because the scene is highly fragmented). I tucked the show host’s business card into my pocket and told him I would get back to him in a few weeks…which turned into four months, when he, to my surprise, attended the La Santa Muerte workshop I hosted at Alchemy Arts bookstore last month and he brought up the idea of the radio interview again. The show’s host, named Drew, was under the false impression that the Chicago Fellowship of Isis community, which is comprised of active members grouped into autonomous and individual Lyceums, Iseums, and Temples, had a “senior officers” roster akin to the leadership found in esoteric initiatory traditions ranked in one sole group, but we don’t as our sense of organizational structure is very different (and much more minuscule). It’s really my Archpriestess-Hierophant friend Demetria (who heads the Lyceum of Alexandria-Mishigami) and I serving as the “mouthpieces” for the tight-knit stellium of small groups. Hence it was she and I who sat in the control booth for the live radio broadcast of episode 127 of Magick Radio Chicago on Saturday night, February 10.
It was a two-hour broadcast broken up by a few musical interludes. Here is the MP3 recording a friend luckily made on my behalf since Drew does not as yet have the capability to archive shows (a fact I wish he would have brought up beforehand, as I would have liked to have been given the option to bring a flash drive with me to record the show live):
The Mighty Dead: Honoring the Legacy of the Rt. Rev. Lady Olivia Robertson, Fellowship of Isis Co-Founder
As I explained in the broadcast when discussing my magico-religious background, my ritual proficiency grew when I was in my early twenties under the auspices of the Temple of the Sacred Stones, a Chicago-based Garderian coven that operated for more than 30 years and through which I chiefly received my magical training. One of the important teachings in Gardnerian Wicca is the principle of the Mighty Dead, also known as “the Hidden Company”–the presences, often felt and ritually welcomed, of spiritual forebears in the Tradition. It is they who help further the Tradition’s evolution by guiding current adherents in their magical development.
According to noted grief expert David Kessler (I highly recommend his book, co-authored with Louise Hay, entitled You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death), a person can be said to be healthily coping with the loss of a loved one when heartwarming memories of the deceased outweigh the pain of the loved one’s absence in the physical world. But the loving connection with the deceased is never severed, Kessler asserts, and the spiritual relationship between the deceased and the person grieving her or his loss on the physical plane takes on a new level of intensity.
That “intensity” is an apt description characterizing the bonds we as living Witches create with our Mighty Dead. Those who have gone before us, those who have made us the walkers of the Crooked Path that we are today, are rightly honored, remembered, given thanks and praise, and in my practices, literally fed. They may be ancestors of blood and bone or ancestors of spirit, mentors to whom you’re not physically related. Without a doubt, the co-founders of the Fellowship of Isis, Lord Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, his wife Pamela, and his sister Lady Olivia Robertson, take center stage as representatives of the Mighty Dead in our Chicago Fellowship of Isis community, along with the late and deeply missed Archpriestess-Hierophant Deena Celeste Weglarz Butta, founder of the Chicago-based Lyceum of Alexandria, which has undergone a rebirth as the Lyceum of Alexandria-Misghigami in the five years since her untimely passing.
It is to these powerful, beloved mentors, who have joined the ranks of the Mighty Dead, that I dedicated my participation in the Magick Radio Chicago broadcast on February 10. May the shared vision of my spiritual mentors come to fruition, the vision of personal and planetary healing effected by the (re)awakening of the ancient Egyptian goddess Aset, Whom the Greeks named “Isis.” Our fragile planet is imperiled by the twin toxic legacies of patriarchal monotheistic religions and morally bankrupt scientific materialism, both of which have exorcised the Divine Feminine from spiritual traditions, from nature, and turned the Earth into a soulless entity rife for exploitation and poisoning to the point of catalyzing mass extinction events. Our world and the other species we share it with deserve better. Let us pray this Isis Prayer of Lady Olivia’s:
Holy Goddess Isis,
Mother of All Things,
Come to our hearts!
Grant us, Thy children,
We offer Thee our loving care
For all who are born of Thee.
Beloved and blessed dead, may you shine amongst the imperishable stars!