Death is inevitable. It is those of us who are left behind that feel the grief and sadness. Two gorgeous lights have passed recently into the belly of the Queen of Heaven. They are Priestesses who led lives of stellar devotion to the Goddess and to sharing information and practices with those that they came into contact with on their journey here. They are the Foremothers who were catalysts for the resurgence of Goddess Worship and impetus of Feminist Spirituality in the mid to late twentieth century. They are our inspirations, way-showers, living lives dedicated to pulling back the veil of the Goddess so that we could step into our own powers and communion with Her.
Layne Redmond (August 19, 1952 – October 28, 2013) – Composer, Drummer, Author, Filmmaker, Educator, Mythologist, Teacher – Most people know Layne Redmond through her book When the Drummers Were Women and through her amazing body of work in music. Layne traveled the world in search of the history and mythology of frame drums and women as drummers. (You can read more of her Back Story here) She lived life with this huge sunbeam of a smile and you cannot help by responding joyfully to the joy that she and her work emit. Layne has done albums and teachings on the chakras and even has a signature line of drums, but there is one thing that brings Layne Redmond into my world several times every week:
Hymns from the Hive – Through a collection of altering, transcendent chants and drummings, Layne brought the bees into our consciousness. Need an energy boost? Want to connect further with the ancient bee energy, Bee Priestesses, Bee Goddesses? THIS album is how to do it. I use it for meditation, rejuvenation, inspiration and sometimes to take a lazy afternoon nap.
On every drumbeat and chant from the women, Layne lives in our hearts. With each buzzing of bees overheard in gardens, Layne’s memory is renewed. We will miss you, Layne Redmond and treasure each and every gift that you have given us in your time here.
“The sun sets and the moon sets but they’re not gone. Death is a coming together.” Rumi
Lady Olivia Robertson (3 April 1917 – 14 November 2013) – High Priestess, Author, Artist, Teacher, C0-Founder of the Fellowship of Isis – Lady Olivia lived an amazing life and just passed a few days ago at the age of 96. Her work and efforts to bring the feminine aspects of the divine into formal ritual practice were tireless and continued up to her death. She was a Co-Founder of the Fellowship of Isis which counts thousands in their membership across the world and began in 1976. As a Priestess of Isis, Lady Olivia took ancient rituals and myths and transformed them into an enormous liturgy available not only to the members of Fellowship of Isis but to anyone who resonates. (Read more about the Fellowship of Isis here) In 1993, Lady Olivia was invited to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions Centennial Session and represent Goddess Worship for all of us.
After almost one hundred years on this Earth, I am joyful that Lady Olivia has returned to her Goddess Isis. Her memory lives and breathes via the liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis and her words ring out in the daily practice of the members. Thank you, Lady Olivia for not only bringing this information into being but for being a living, breathing archetype of Priestess from whom we can all take example.
When asked in an interview, what her message to the world was, Olivia replied: “Be happy now. Don’t worry about if you were happy yesterday, or whether you will be happy tomorrow. . . eternity is between seconds. You find Deity, the Goddess, the God, now. And your home becomes your sanctuary. You have a sanctuary as your hearth – a candle, one candle, a stick of incense, wherever you are is Heaven. That’s what my message is – yes – wherever you are, should be Heaven.”