Olivia Robertson: A Magical Life
Olivia Robertson was born during the Great War to an aristocratic family of the Anglo-Irish Ascendency. As a child, she knew the greats of Merion Square in Dublin, such as the Celtic Revivalist and mystic AE, and WB Yeats. She was also related to Robert Graves. Olivia was a keenly observant novelist and artist. She had a life-long interest in the Occult and esotericism, which totally changed direction when she discovered the Goddess. Some years after this conversion, in 1976, she founded, with her brother, The Fellowship of Isis, which was open to all who had an interest in the Feminine Divine, whatever their own religious calling. Membership was free and by acceptance of a simple Manifesto. International in scope from the start, with this charismatic and extraordinary woman at the helm, The Fellowship became one of the largest Goddess concerns in the world.
Olivia went on to create a ritual structure for those who wished to become priestesses and priests of the goddess, that was at the same time highly complex in form yet surprisingly simple in nature, from her castle home and temple in rural Ireland. She died at 96 in 2013.
Caroline Wise was a friend of Olivia’s for 30 years, and worked and travelled with her as her administrator for the FOI during the 90s and 2000s. She compiled Olivia’s auto-biography, ‘The Call of Isis’ in 1993 with added research and interviews. Caroline’s illustrated talk will reveal a highly original, brilliant and complicated woman, who had the Janus-like quality of being able to look back to the Edwardian world of her parents, and the esotericism of that time, yet enthusiastic about the future and new discoveries. She will also show the influences, both esoteric and mundane, that shaped Olivia’s conviction that the goddess must be restored to the world.
Caroline Wise writes on the goddesses, and gives presentations internationally. She is the co-editor, with John Matthews, of The Secret Lore of London, and has been presenting events on the goddess, and folklore and Mythic London for 30 years.