Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lady Loreon of Isis Oasis Passes

I was so saddened to learn that Lady Loreon Vigne, founder of Isis Oasis in Geyserville, California, had passed away on July 15 at the age of 82.  Lady Loreon created a true sanctuary - for the Fellowship of Isis, for the Goddess, for her beloved endangered animals, and especially her Ocelots, for beauty, and for many, many artists, seekers, healers, friends, and wanderers.  I count myself privileged to be among them.  She was one of those who did so much, in her life, generosity, and vision, to help create and re-claim  Goddess Culture.  She will be sorely missed.

It was my pleasure to visit Isis Oasis on my trip to California in 2012.  I visited the sanctuary and retreat center  many times in the past when  lived in California.  Reverend Loreon Vigne founded Isis Oasis in the beautiful wine country of northern  in 1978. Before that time Loreon was an artist living in San Francisco. She created a line of gift ware and jewelry called Noir Enamelcraft and as her work became popular she needed a workshop. Answering a newspaper ad, she was delighted to discover that the building was on Isis Street  ....this synchronicity was the first  "go ahead" for her.

Another reason Loreon moved  was because of her love for ocelots (and later for  servals, the "hunting cats" of ancient Egypt as well).  Both animals are endangered species.  On my visit in 2012 I was delighted when Loreon let me visit with several of the big cats.  Ocelots can purr, but they don't "meow", they  just growl their pleasure or dislike.  It was quite a treat to sit with a gorgeous cat the size of a good sized dog who growled convincingly like a tiger to let me know he wanted his ears rubbed.

"While in the city of Saint Francis, patron saint of all living creatures, I discovered my passion for one of the most beautiful cats on the planet - The Ocelot. I have been working with Ocelots since the mid-1960’s and have created a vibrant family tree of Ocelots. To my knowledge I am the only one at this time to have bred a seventh generation domestic born Ocelot, and it is my hope to continue to create more of this highly endangered feline species of North America for future generations to enjoy.

There are some that believe that Ocelots should stay purely in the wild to live or to die. Commonly held knowledge shows the difficulties that this amazing species faces in the wild - Poachers who hunt them for their beautiful fur, although it is an illegal practice, and the deforestation of their habitats.  Therefore I believe that a population of Ocelots kept in captivity is the only way to ensure their continued survival, for in ten years there may no longer be any Ocelots left in the wild in North America".

Loreon Vigne

Hymn to Isis

Bestower of Wealth, Queen of the Gods,
Speaker of Wisdom, Omnipotent Lady,
Agathe Tyche, greatly renowned Isis
through you, Heaven and Earth have their being;
and the gusts of winds and the sun with its sweet light
All who live on the boundless earth  invoke  your fair name,
honored among all
Syrians honor you as Astarte, Artemis, Nanaia; Lycians as Leto, the Lady;
Thracians name you Mother of the Gods;
and the Greeks Hera of the Great Throne, Aphrodite,
noble Hestia, Rhea and Demeter.
But the Egyptians call you ‘The Goddess’;
for you are all other goddesses invoked by humankind.

 –Isidorus, ca. 100 BCE. Adapted from Vera Frederika Vanderlip (1972) in The Four Greek Hymns of Isidorus and The Cult of Isis. Toronto: Hakkert.
 White Peacock at Isis Oasis

Mana Youngbear  sweeping before the Temple of Isis

"Dirt Sculpture" fire pit
I can't write about Loreon and Isis Oasis without including Lady Olivia.  Lady Olivia, who co-founded the Fellowship of Isis with her brother in Ireland (and now around the world)  passed away in 2013.   Recently a movie has been made about the Fellowship and Lady Olivia  - She  came to Isis Oasis for Convocation and initiation of priestesses for many years from her home in Ireland.  If you have met any of the Fellowship, you immediately are struck by what a wonderful, warm, life-affirming and creative group of people they are. 

I shall miss Lady Loreon, and it is my hope that the Sanctuary for the Goddess that she dedicated herself to will continue.  

Thank you, Loreon.   We will all miss you.

Lady Loreon Vigne dies at age 82

Friday, July 18th, 2014  by

Vigne started a program welcoming classrooms of children from Sonoma County and beyond to teach them about the once endangered animals and their unique home at the Geyserville sanctuary.  Last month, Vigne hosted the Geyserville Chamber of Commerce’s end of year dinner with a surprise guest, a snake dancer wrapped in a 20-foot live snake.

Lady Loreon Vigne was married to the late San Francisco beat era film maker, Dion Vigne who died in 1970.  Lady Loreon Vigne’s artistic career started in San Francisco where she was an artist and crafts person. Vigne created a line of giftware and jewelry called Noir Enamelcraft. Her gallery specialized in enamels and stained glass was located in downtown San Francisco.Isis Oasis

Lady Loreon had a collection of exotic Ocelot cats at her home and workshop on Isis Street in San Francisco. When the regulations against owning exotic cats in San Francisco  were imposed, Lady Loreon moved to Geyserville to provide a new home for her exotic cats.

Isis Street was one more thread in the woven cloth of  the Isis Oasis beginning.  Lady Loreon had a series of  encounters with the Goddess Isis, and decided to transform the property into an Egyptian themed retreat center.  Vigne personally created  stained glass pieces all over the property, and built enclosures for her cats and exotic birds she began to acquire. Over time the animal sanctuary was born.  34 years later Isis Oasis has provided a place for artists to be creative and groups to use the space for  retreats, workshops, weddings, concerts, and myriad other activities.

Vigne was an author and poet, with past speaking engagements at the Wells Fargo Center, local bookstores and Isis Oasis. Lady Loreon leaves a living legacy in Geyserville, Isis Oasis.


Mana From The Muse said...

My dear dear sister Lauren, I can not thank you enough for this kind writing of our beloved Lady Loreon. She was , as you know , like a mother to me. I want to talk with you soon .
I will forward this to the FOI. It is truly amazing.. Thank you again.
Love you deeply,

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

It sounds like she was an amazing woman. And those ocelets...gorgeous! I'm sorry for the loss for you and your community of evolved souls, Lauren.