The Isian Tradition was birthed in 1974 when its Mother Coven, the Star of the Gold Cross, was established in Dallas by Margo Dana and the “Ceremonial Magician” who was an Initiate of The Foundation, some of whose Initiates were also members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Margo identified as a hereditary Witch of ancestry originating in Britain with a subsequent presence in France. The tradition acquired its name from Margo’s experience of observing a claimed family Witchcraft tradition through which she made devotional offerings at an Iseum (shrine to Isis) near her family’s home in France. The tradition also incorporates the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which was founded as the Isis-Urania Temple in the late 19th century. Margo relocated to Texas during her late teens or early twenties and subsequently spent time as the resident Witch at Lucchia’s where she taught classes and offered Tarot consultations.
Margo and the Ceremonial Magician blended their combination of magickal skill and knowledge to create a path of Witchcraft that would be born into the world through the Star of the Gold Cross. The Isian Tradition has a rather strong framework of ceremonial magick and Hermeticism through which the praxis observes the turning of the Wheel of the Year and the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris. The Egyptian deities are seen as the Old Gods of the Elder Faith, and are worshiped above all others. Isis is venerated as a central figure and She is considered the Creatrix and the Keeper of the Mysteries of the Cauldron. However, in contrast to some Witchcraft paths, the Isian Tradition places a greater emphasis on actual magickal practice than religious observation.
The Star of the Gold Cross had attracted a number of Witches such as Pattalee Glass-Koentop, Judy Smith, Ellen Cannon Reed and Julie Klein. The 1970s was a period of great magickal development for the Star of the Gold Cross and its members who were to become very successful authors and psychics. Having suffered injury in a number of car accidents Margo’s health deteriorated during those years eventually leading to the dissolution of the coven.
Following this the Isian Tradition underwent some changes under the guidance of its remaining Elder Priestesses. Due to the wide scope of teachings of the Star of the Golden Cross its Initiates later formed covens which placed more emphasis on some aspects over others and then added to these. This birthed three lines within the Isian Tradition.
Pattalee moved away from aspects associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and gravitated towards a more “Wiccan” expression. To this she added her interest in “Celtic Tree Magick.” Julie had a more traditional Witchcraft focus emphasising psychic development, use of Tarot and herbs, and incorporated elements of North and South American magick.
In contrast, Ellen actually placed a greater emphasis on Kabalistic magick and would later publish “The Witches’ Qabalah” amongst a number of other titles. Ellen also underlined and added to the Egyptian aspects and her downline would become known as the Western line of the Isian Tradition. While the expression of the three lines diverged significantly between Ellen, Pattalee, and Julie, each one maintains and transmits the Isian Core.
Within the Outer Court a Neophyte will be trained through four elemental grades. At 1º the Initiate is considered a Priest or Priestess and assumes more responsibilities. At 2º the Initiate is considered a High Priest or High Priestess and, with permission of the Elder High Priest and Elder High Priestess, may form and train a coven. At 3º an Initiate is considered fully autonomous and free to teach the tradition independently. At 3º a female Initiate may undergo the Rite of the Silver Chain while a male Initiate may undergo the Rite of the Gold Chain.
A Seeker can expect a lengthy meet and greet process prior to a decision on acceptance for training. During this period a Seeker should be able to convey a good knowledge of contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft. For a suggested reading list please click here. A candidate will be of adult age and able to demonstrate self-care, personal integrity and commitment. A candidate can expect to spend around five years completing training. Seekers may submit a considered expression of interest via firstname.lastname@example.org. First, please see advice for Seekers here. All enquiries shall be treated with confidentiality. Those using pseudonyms shall receive no response.
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