Faces of the Crone: Lady Olivia Robertson
Faces of the Crone
Crones we love and celebrate as trail blazing Goddess Conference Elders
An honouring series of beloved Crones who the Goddess Conference co-organisers have personal connection with, randomly chosen from a selection of photos by Ann Cook©, Conference photographer of the last 20+ years.
Of course, there are many more trail blazing elders in the Goddess movement and beloved Crones of the Conference; this series stands to celebrate them all through the examples of these women, and the appreciation we have for them.
Lady Olivia Robertson
Lady Olivia was born on Friday the 13th (1917) a date that she gladly associated as a day related to ‘The Goddess’. She was born in London, but her ancestral home was Clonegal Castle in Ireland, to which she returned at the age of eight.
Lady Olivia was educated in Modern Art in London and Dublin and was very accomplished in both drawing/painting and writing. She published several books and had two public art exhibitions. She was promoter of charity work and she herself served as a nurse during WW2 and later in the ‘60s run a local welfare system, together with her brother Lawrence and his wife.
It was just after the war that Lady Olivia received her first spiritual awakening from the Goddess Isis, but it took until 1963 that she, again with her brother and sister-in-law, formed the Huntington Castle Centre for Meditation and Study in Clonegal.
In 1976 they founded the ‘Fellowship of Isis’, a multi-cultural and multi-religious spiritual society that has grown to thousands of members, from many countries worldwide. This centre has the intention to support a closer communion between Goddess and the members of the society, both individually and as a group.
Lady Olivia went on writing, recreating ancient myths and rituals in the Liturgy of the Fellowship of Isis. She also wrote her spiritual autobiography and about the Fellowship of Isis, how it was founded.
She was instrumental to the recognition for the ‘religion of the Goddess’ as a world faith when she attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions Centennial Session in 1993.
Lady Olivia also loved to travel, and regularly came to Glastonbury, also to come to The Goddess Conference, even up to an old age. She died in November 2013 another 13…
During my first Goddess Conference, when I had frankly no clue what was going on a lot of the time and was bowled over by all the weird and wonderful impressions, I had my first experience of Lady Olivia Robertson. She must have been 86 by then. I can only describe this experience as a mystical one. It was too strange to make sense of, but at the same time, there was something fascinating about her presence and appearance.
Lady Olivia was accompanied by other women, who were clearly an integral part of The Goddess Conference, such as Julie Felix and Lydia Lyte. They came in singing and drumming and making a theatrical entrance. Lady Olivia would then speak, what I recognised as a blessing to all assembled and then they would leave again. I had no idea what just happened and it was only later that I realised who Lady Olivia actually was and why she had such an impact on the conference.
When I looked into who she was, I came to know that Lady Olivia was a regular presenter at The Goddess Conference and that there was this ‘Fellowship of Isis’ which had had (and still has) not just a big following within the (Glastonbury) Goddess Movement, but also a great influence on how the modern day experience of the Goddess movement has grown and is experienced.
In the years that followed, up to the last time Lady Olivia came to the Conference, I always tried to be in the ‘Temple’ during the Conference week when she would come in. I was an honour to receive her blessing each year and to experience the love so many had for her and her work and service to The Goddess. It is therefore that I continue to honour Lady Olivia Robertson as trailblazing Goddess Conference Elder.
Goddess Conference co-organiser