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Tradition information: Isian
|The Isian Tradition was founded by Margo Dana in 1974 in Dallas,
Texas along with a ceremonial magician who claimed initiation in The
Foundation or the Golden Dawn tradition. They founded the Star of
the Gold Cross (the Mother Coven).
Margo was a hereditary witch whose family tradition originated in Britain, but finally culminated in France. The birth of the term Isian came from the fact that Margo's family lived near an Iseum (ancient shrine of Isis) in France and that is where she said prayers, made offerings and did worship for her "family craft tradition". It also incorporates the history of the Golden Dawn that was founded as the Isis-Urania Temple in the late 19th century. At some point, in her late teen's or early twenties, Margo moved to Texas. She was the resident witch at Lucchia's in the 1970's, reading Tarot and teaching classes.
Margo along with the ceremonial magician aspired to combine the best of their magical and Wicca knowledge (family tradition, ceremonial magic, and hermeticism) to create the Star of the Gold Cross (SGC). The Star of the Gold Cross rituals contain ceremonial magic as a basis and invoked the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, while celebrating the wheel of the year, the Mysteries of Isis and Osirus and the Archangels as well as the Religious Mystery Rites. Rituals also used the association of symbols from Astrology, Tarot, Cabala, herbs, perfumes, incense, and so on. It was believed by the Star of the Gold Cross that contact and development on the Inner Planes was acquired through the studies and teachings that were passed from teacher to student through Rites of Initiation.
The Star of the Gold Cross had many different students including Pattalee Glass-Koentop, Judy Smith, Ellen Cannon Reed and Julie Klein. Pattalee met Margo at Lucchia's and told Crystal, another student of the SGC, about her. Ellen was working as an employee of a State Government firm like the Sheriff's Office. This was during the 1970's when Witchcraft was not widely accepted. The short period that the Star of the Gold Cross was together however was truly a magical experience. Many great psychics as well as published authors have resulted from that union. Margo's health was never the best during the SGC years, she was involved in several major automobile wrecks.
After the dissolution of the Star of the Gold Cross, the Isian Tradition changed in many ways through its new Priestesses. Due to the broad teachings of the Star of the Golden Cross the students that later formed covens focused on different aspects of the teachings and added to them. Pattalee made the statement that Margo knew many, many things and did teach each of her initiates different things. Pattalee changed the Tradition to be more "Wiccan" getting away from the ceremonial magic, Hermetic Golden Dawn themes. Pattalee also later added Celtic Tree Magic which was not incorporated in the original training. Ellen incorporated more Cabalistic Magic in the Tradition than others. She wrote the "The Witches' Cabala" and "The Witches' Tarot", both available at Amazon.com. Ellen formed the Western Isian Tradition. Ellen also incorporated a more Egyptian approach, using Aset, Asar, etc. as well as the Egyptian Pentagram ritual. Julie followed more of a family, craft Tradition, adding Psychic visualization, Tarot (from her own grandmother), Herbology and some native American and South American magic. Julie mostly did her rituals spontaneously rarely reading off Traditional Historical Rites.
The Isian tradition has a Four Level Initiation System in the "Outer Circle" with Three Degrees. At Neophyte, the student is trained through the Four elemental grades and becomes familiar with the workings of the Isian Tradition. At First Degree, the initiate is considered a Priest or Priestess and assumes more responsibilities for the rites of the coven. At Second Degree, the initiate is considered a HP or HPS, able to form and train a coven with permission of the Elder HP/HPS. At Third Degree, the initiate is autonomous with full rights to teach the Tradition (receiving copies of all historical Isian Rites and Materials). At Third Degree the initiate receives the Rite of the Silver Chain for women and the Rite of the Gold Chain for men. Margo was initiated into the "Inner Circle" in 1974.
Disclaimer: All of the above information has not been verified by all sources, rather it is a culmination of all sources, living or dead and the opinions of the remaining original initiates of The Star of the Gold Cross. We have not at this date, been able to verify whether Margo Dana is deceased although we believe she is at this writing.
Glass-Koentop, Pattalee. Interviews and History of the Isian Tradition from her materials to initiates.
Lucchia. Interviews from 1970, 2001.
Reed, Ellen Cannon. Historical letters, materials, website History of Western Tradition.
'The Ceremonial Magician' (Thanks, R ;> ed.)
Known resources, groups and covens for Isian
(Fort Worth Texas )