Love and Fertility are often interconnected, both being associated with feminine deities in Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian mythology. These ancient goddess are where we get the structural ideas for the Church of Aphrodite and the Fellowship of Isis. These are two neopagan religions that have developed in the last century. The Fellowship of Isis has flourished, while the Church of Aphrodite has seen little activity in the last few years. Both of these new religions worship the idea of the mother goddess, but they why has one not done so well? To answer this we must first consider the patron goddess that is being worshipped in each religion. Next we must research the people who founded each religion and the time periods in which they were developed.
Neopaganism is the worship of deities or practices from an ancient culture, the most common forms being Greek and Roman gods (Alder). The Church of Aphrodite, as it plainly says in its name, is dedicated to the worship of the greek goddess Aphrodite (Alder). In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is seen as the goddess of love, and often the physical kind (Davis 200). She is also seen as the goddess of beauty and has a great connection to the ancient Eastern fertility goddess (Davis 200). In Egyptian mythology Isis was the goddess of fertility, and she also resembled the devout, perfect wife (Davis 89). Isis also represented mystery and magic, for she was able to resurrect her murdered husband Osiris (Davis 89). So how do these Goddesses lead to the development of new religions movements?
The Fellowship of Isis was founded in the spring of 1976, in Ireland by Olivia Robertson, her brother Lawrence Robertson, and her sister-in-law Pamela Durdin-Robertson (Fellowship of Isis). It was started at Clonegal Castle during the Spring Equinox (Fellowship of Isis). The castle has since then become the headquarters of the religion, with a temple dedicated to Isis on the grounds (Fellowship of Isis). In the Fellowship of Isis, the members see Isis as the supreme Goddess, with many different forms and they worship what they call the “Isis of 10,000 names” (Fellowship of Isis). The Fellowship is considered a multi-religious, which means people from all faiths, can become members (Fellowship of Isis). Despite what the rest of the world thinks, this group does not considered themselves pagans, for they have Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and many others as followers too (Fellowship of Isis). In 1993, the Fellowship of Isis was publicly recognized at the World Religions Centennial Session (Fellowship of Isis). Olivia is the only one of the original founders still living today, and she is considered “Arch-priestess” (Fellowship of Isis). So does this mean that neopaganism is just found in Europe? The answer is no, for there are other neopagan religions found in the U.S., and they have been there for a while.
One of these is the Church of Aphrodite, which was founded in the spring of 1938, in...