It was announced this week that Laura Janesdaughter, a Priestess of Isis in the Fellowship of Isis, Temple of Isis Los Angeles, and Long Beach WomanSpirit, died on May 27th due to complications related to cancer. In addition to her role as a Priestess within the Fellowship of Isis, Janesdaughter was a Flame Keeper of Brighid through Ord Brighideach, a Brighidine order engaging in devotional work to Brighid, and facilitated the Nephthys Work: Say My Name That I May Live in 2001 after 9/11. She is widely credited with bringing Isis worship to Los Angeles.
“We have lost one of our great Priestesses, The Rt. Rev. Laura Janesdaughter. She had the gift of total integrity. She brought the goddess into her life and her work, and the lives of others. She brought Isis to Los Angeles. The rituals she led on the beach with Isis Pelagia were well known as were the meetings she led for the community. Laura Janesdaughter was no snob, she could mix with everybody. She stood up to injustice whenever she saw it with moral courage. She was a great friend. The Priestesses she taught are brilliant, and they could rely on her for truth and moral courage.” – Olivia Robertson, co-founder, Fellowship of Isis
Laura Janesdaughter was also a poet and editor, producing the “Isis Papers,” an official publication of the Fellowship of Isis. When asked what one of her roles in the community was, she responded “it is to support women,” and Janesdaughter spent much of her time building infrastructure within the Fellowship of Isis and the broader Pagan community to realize her appointed mission; Co-founding the Star of Elen, the Circle of Pelagia, and creating resources like the Knot of Isis site.
“Laura Janesdaughter was a true priestesses. She was enormously generous and supportive of others. She genuinely served the Goddess community; locally, nationally and globally, and in putting on public events to bring knowledge of the goddesses to the wider LA area. Everything she did was from the heart and for the goddess. Laura Janesdaughter was refreshingly un-showy. Laura was an Anglophile, and she came to Britain often, to support our Fellowship of Isis goddesses events.She was at home in London, she would usually be the one giving me directions to places in my home town!” – Caroline Wise, co-founder Star of Elen, Fellowship of Isis
“Years ago when Laura and I were discussing our future retirements from paid work, she told me she wanted to make sure she had created something that would last before she retired and moved away. She never did move away and she worked long past retirement age in order to reach that goal. But Laura brought Isis to Los Angeles, and the community that she inspired is strong and healthy and, I believe, will last.” – Wendy Griffin, Cherry Hill Seminary
“In my experience, Laura demonstrated responsibility and reliability, exuded good cheer and dedication to Isis, and took care of business with care and no drama. Her loss leaves a tear in the multicolored tapestry of the Los Angeles goddess community. Knowing Laura has enriched my life and I, too, will mourn her now and will remember her at every Samhaintide. ‘In love may she return again.’” – M. Macha Nightmare
A memorial service is being planned for October, the month that Laura Janesdaughter was ordained as a Priestess of Isis in the Fellowship of Isis (October 27, 1993) and the Temple of Isis (October 12, 1996). Currently, the plans for the service are to take place at the UU Church in Long Beach, CA. May she rest in the arms of her goddess. What is remembered, lives.