Fellowship of Isis, Co-Founder, Pamela Durdin-Robertson, (right) with Lawrence and Olivia Robertson in their ancestral home, Clonegal Castle. Photo used with permission of the Fellowship of Isis Central Webpage. Copyrighted.
by Linda Iles, Prs. H.
Isis, Lotus of Alexandria Lyceum, San Deigo, California
Pamela Mary (Barclay) Durdin-Robertson was born on February 14, 1923. She was the only daughter of Major and Mrs. Maurice Edward Barclay of Brent Pelham Hall, Buntingford, Hertfordshire. Her family’s religious background was Quaker, she is descended from the famous Robert Barclay who wrote “An Apology for the True Christian Divinity” in the late seventeenth century. This work supports and defends the founding principles of the Quaker faith and is still in print.
Another famous relative was the prison reformer known as "The Angel of Newgate," Elizabeth Gurney Fry, whose mother Catherine, was a member of the Barclay family. Both of these distinguished Quakers wrote of spiritual experiences with the Inner Light. Elizabeth stated in her memoirs: "... suddenly my mind felt clothed with light, as with a garment ..."
Pamela was the FOI co-founder who insisted upon the equality of all beings within the Fellowship of Isis. She was a mystic and an empath, whose sensitivities focused primarily on the powers of nature and animal spirits. Like her famous ancestor and her famous relative, she believed that an Inner Light was the guiding force of all life. She had mystical experiences with ‘plant spirits’ which some might call nature devas. As her attunement with nature grew, so did her rapport with plants, flowers and trees.
Today, it is common knowledge that plants respond to our thoughts, to colored light and to music. Pamela intuitively knew this before it was common knowledge, and she would occasionally communicate with nature spirits.
However, the majority of her attunement was with the plants, flowers and trees themselves. She had a special sensitivity to wild flowers in particular. Olivia felt that Pamela could communicate with flowers so easily because she lived so much in the present moment, and because Pamela never questioned the reality or validity of her sensitivity, it was simply a natural part of her being, and of her everyday life. Of Pamela Durdin-Robertson it could truly be said: "Every flower was a word, a thought. The grass was speech; the trees were speech; the waters were speech; the winds were speech...and I listened with my whole being." (*)
Trees, flowers, people and animals are in reality a part of one’s self. When one operates on a psychic level, as Pamela did, harmony and the connectedness to all other forms of life is understood. Pamela, along with Lawrence felt the necessity of naming their Fellowship after a Goddess, and the launching of the Fellowship of Isis provided important impetus to the early Goddess movement. During her awakening to the reality of the Divine Feminine, Pamela became a vegetarian and remained so during the rest of her life.
Pamela is referred to as 'Valentine' in Olivia's spiritual autobiography "The Call of Isis," because of her Valentine's Day birthdate. Pamela was called "Poppy" by friends and family. Those who were privileged to know her have remarked on the sweet gentleness of her temperament. She was renowned for her love and care towards both human beings and animals. One of her most beloved animal companions was a pony which sometimes was hitched to a trap in which she used to ride through the village of Brent Pelham as a girl. Lawrence dedicated two of his books "The Goddesses of Chaldea, Syria and Egypt" and "The Goddesses of India, Tibet, China and Japan" specifically to her.
Lawrence and Pamela were married in 1948 and had three daughters, Melian, Anna and Lucy, and one son, David. After nearly forty years of marriage and a lifetime devoted to family and community service, Pamela Durdin-Robertson passed away in 1987.
Olivia had this to say of her sister-in-law: "Pamela was good and kind. People loved her. During her funeral procession, which included her coffin being carried in a carriage type hearse, pulled by black draped horses, people lined the streets to pay their respects, because they loved her. She gave money and helped to raise funds for charity. She freely gave to help others. She was naturally psychic and brought the concepts of equality of all members and communion with animals, plants and trees to the FOI."
(*) quote from "The Candle of Vision", A.E. (George Russell), MacMillan and Co., Ltd., London, 1918
This article and photo used with permission of Linda Iles and the Fellowship of Isis Central Webpage. This information is copyrighted and is not to be duplicated without the authors permission.