Deena Celeste Butta 1950 – 2013

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  January 29, 2013 — 7 Comments

The Fellowship of Isis Central blog has announced the passing of Deena Butta, an Elder Priestess for the Fellowship in Chicago who was deeply involved in interfaith work, in addition to transmitting her tradition’s teachings. Two of her most notable accomplishments within these spheres was publishing the Isis-Seshat Journal, the “personal post” for the Fellowship of Isis, and her involvement with the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, the moment when modern Paganism “came out” to the global interfaith community.

Deena Celeste Butta

Deena Celeste Butta

“In 1993, at the Parliament of World’s Religions held in Chicago, Deena was included in the Fellowship of Isis Procession.  Deena also took part in the FOI Mystery play “Judgement of Osiris” known in the FOI Liturgy books as “Judgment of the Earth” that was presented at the Parliament. She performed an Egyptian Dance as part of a presentation during the FOI workshop. 

Later in the event, Deena was consecrated as a Hierophant, with Olivia [Robertson] acting as Priestess and then ArchDruid Isaac Bonewits (now ArchDruid Emeritus) and founder of Ár nDraíocht Féin, acting as Priest, with Ruth Dillon assisting as Priestess of Isis. Deena’s husband Ray Butta was ordained into the priesthood at this time. During the Parliament activities, Deena and Olivia participated together in an interview for local Chicago Radio.”

Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary first met Deena Butta at that Parliament in 1993, and recalls their long mutual history of working together on interfaith projects.

“I first met Deena at the start of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago – we both were among the delegates who walked in the Procession that opened the 1993 Parliament of World Religions.  She was among those representing Fellowship of Isis.  I was among those representing Circle Sanctuary.

Over the years, Deena, I, and Fellowship of Isis founder Lady Olivia Robertson of Ireland collaborated with others on a variety of interfaith and multicultural endeavors.

I connected them with some Native American leaders at a Pow Wow we attended in 2004 the day following the Fellowship of Isis convention in Chicago where Olivia, Deena, I, and others were speaking.  Deena and Oliva also were speakers at a Circle Sanctuary Fall Equinox Festival and assisted with the dedication of one of our Goddess Shrines.”

Fox went on to describe Butta as a “caring friend, Isis priestess, archivist-librarian, writer, and interfaith pioneer.”

In addition to her other accomplishments, Butta was a Reference Librarian, and appeared on the 1998 television series “The Unexplained.” She was also a member of the United Communities of Spirit. For a full biography of her accomplishments within the Fellowship of Isis, and interfaith, see the  Fellowship of Isis Central blog. Here’s an excerpt from the Invocation and Oracle of the Goddess Isis from the Fellowship of Isis Liturgy rite “Dulce Domum: The Soul Returns Home” by FOI Co-Founder Olivia Robertson, posted by the Fellowship in her honor.

“In your originality is your immortality, for nothing that is original can perish. It is an essential part of the cosmic scheme. Manifest your Divine Origin which is born from the Mother of All, Nuit, Whose children are immortal like onto Herself. Nourish then all good gifts in each person and each being and you strengthen the harmony between the Divine Sphere of Heaven with its transient reflection which is this world. There is no death. Love is eternal. Osiris and I are One. So is it with us all.”

May she rest in the arms of her gods.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685041384 Fanny Fae

    I am very shocked by this news. Deena Butta was also a Remetj of the House of Netjer Kemetic Orthodox Temple and a friend. I met Deena on the eve of my ordination in 1998. This is very sad news indeed.

  • Shefyt

    A thousand of bread and beer, oxen and fowl, alabaster and fine linen for the ka of Deena Butta, true of voice.

  • AndrasArthen

    I am saddened by the news of Deena’s death — I remember being introduced to her as the whole lot of us lingered in the hallway, waiting to process at the opening of the 1993 Parliament in Chicago. That was a very special moment, and it triggered a lot of very positive developments for the pagan movement.

  • Corinne

    My heart breaks,I can not stop my tears.Deena was a true friend , a beautiful sister in
    our beloved Isis.

  • Kieran Nightstar

    May she be blessed on her travels and much peace and love sent to those who will miss her.

  • H.P. Vincent J Beall

    A quote from the laws: “Let none die without honor, without love, or without respect, unless their actions have decreed otherwise.”

    Blessed Be.
    HP Beall

  • http://www.facebook.com/Apulia Carole Linda Gonzalez

    I feel fortunate to have known her and had the opportunity to work with her. She will be much missed.