ISIS -THE EGYPTIAN GODDESS

Egyptian goddess


-Aastha Joshi


Isis is an Egyptian goddess who lacked her own dedicated temples but grew as one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt. Her cult subsequently spread throughout the Roman Empire, and Isis was worshipped from England to Afghanistan. She is still revered by pagans today. she was most often represented as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress and either the hieroglyphic sign of the throne or a solar disk and cow’s horns on her head. she was a principal deity in rites connected with the dead; as magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the deceased to life; and as mother, she was a role model for all women. Occasionally she was represented as a scorpion, a bird, a sow, or a cow. she is mentioned many times in the Pyramid Text, in which she offers assistance to the dead king. The priests of Heliopolis, followers of the son god re, developed the myth of Isis. This told that Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut and the sister of the deities Osiris, Seth, and Nephthys. Married to Osiris, king of Egypt, Isis was a good queen who supported her husband and taught the women of Egypt how to weave, bake, and brew beer. But Seth was jealous, and he hatched a plot to kill his brother. Seth trapped Osiris in a decorated wooden chest, which he coated in lead and threw into the Nile. With his brother vanished, Seth became king of Egypt. But Isis could not forget her husband, and she searched everywhere for him until she eventually discovered Osiris, still trapped in his chest. She brought his body back to Egypt, where Seth discovered the chest and hacked his brother into pieces, which he scattered far and wide. Transforming into a bird, and helped by her sister, Nephthys, Isis was able to discover and reunite the parts of her dead husband’s body-only his penis was missing. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Nine months later Isis bore him a son, Horus. Osiris was then forced to retreat to the underworld, where he became king of the dead. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Nine months later Isis bore him a son,Horus, Osiris was then forced to retreat to the underworld, where he became king of the dead. Isis hid with Horus in the marshes of the Nile delta until her son was fully grown and could avenge his father and claim his throne. She defended the child against attacks from snakes and scorpions. But because Isis was also Seth’s sister, she wavered during the eventual battle between Horus and Seth. In one episode Isis took pity on Seth and was in consequence beheaded by Horus. Eventually she and Horus were reconciled, and Horus was able to take the throne of Egypt. Isis was the perfect traditional Egyptian wife and mother-content to stay in the background while things went well, but able to use her wits to guard her husband and son should the need arise. The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection. Several narratives tell of her magical process, far stronger than the powers of Osiris and Re. Isis became associated with various other goddesses, including Bastet, Nut, and Hathor, and thus her nature and her powers became increasingly diverse. Isis became known, like other fierce goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon, as the “Eye of Re” and was equated with the Dog Star, Sothis. The first major temple dedicated to Isis was built by the Late Period king Nectanebo II at Behbeit el-Hagar, in the central Nile delta. Other important temples, including the island temple of Philae, were built during Greco-Roman times when Isis was dominant among Egyptian goddesses. Several temples were dedicated to her in Alexandria, where she became the patroness of seafarers. From Alexandria her cult spread to Greece and Rome. Images of Isis nursing the baby Horus may have influenced the early Christian artists who depicted the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus. In many spells in the Pyramid Texts, Isis and Nephthys help the deceased king reach the afterlife. In the Coffin Texts from the Middle Kingdom, Isis appears still more frequently, though in these texts Osiris is credited with reviving the dead more often than she is. New Kingdom sources such as the Book of the Dead describe Isis as protecting deceased souls as they face the dangers in the Duat. They also describe Isis as a member of the divine councils that judge souls’ moral righteousness before admitting them into the afterlife, and she appears in vignettes standing beside Osiris as he presides over this tribunal. Late funerary texts prominently featured her mourning for Osiris, and one such text, one of the Books of Breathing, was said to have been written by her for Osiris’s benefit. [117] In Nubian funerary religion, Isis was regarded as more significant than her husband, because she was the active partner while he only passivelyreceived the offerings she made to sustain him in the afterlife. Isis continues to appear in modern esoteric and pagan belief systems. The concept of a single goddess incarnating all feminine divine powers, partly inspired by Apuleius, became a widespread theme in literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Influential groups and figures in esotericism, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late nineteenth century and Dion Fortune in the 1930s, adopted this all-encompassing goddess into their belief systems and called her Isis. This conception of Isis influenced the Great Goddess found in many forms of contemporary witchcraft. Today, reconstructions of ancient Egyptian religion, such as Kemetic Orthodoxy or the Church of the Eternal Source, include Isis among the deities they revere.

ISIS – The Egyptian Goddess

-Aastha Joshi

Isis is an Egyptian goddess who lacked her own dedicated temples but grew as one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt. Her cult subsequently spread throughout the Roman Empire, and Isis was worshipped from England to Afghanistan. She is still revered by pagans today. she was most often represented as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress and either the hieroglyphic sign of the throne or a solar disk and cow’s horns on her head. she was a principal deity in rites connected with the dead; as magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the deceased to life; and as mother, she was a role model for all women. Occasionally she was represented as a scorpion, a bird, a sow, or a cow. she is mentioned many times in the Pyramid Text, in which she offers assistance to the dead king. The priests of Heliopolis, followers of the son god re, developed the myth of Isis. This told that Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut and the sister of the deities Osiris, Seth, and Nephthys. Married to Osiris, king of Egypt, Isis was a good queen who supported her husband and taught the women of Egypt how to weave, bake, and brew beer. But Seth was jealous, and he hatched a plot to kill his brother. Seth trapped Osiris in a decorated wooden chest, which he coated in lead and threw into the Nile. With his brother vanished, Seth became king of Egypt. But Isis could not forget her husband, and she searched everywhere for him until she eventually discovered Osiris, still trapped in his chest. She brought his body back to Egypt, where Seth discovered the chest and hacked his brother into pieces, which he scattered far and wide. Transforming into a bird, and helped by her sister, Nephthys, Isis was able to discover and reunite the parts of her dead husband’s body-only his penis was missing. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Nine months later Isis bore him a son, Horus. Osiris was then forced to retreat to the underworld, where he became king of the dead. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Using her magical powers, she was able to make Osiris whole; bandaged, neither living nor dead, Osiris had become a mummy. Nine months later Isis bore him a son,Horus, Osiris was then forced to retreat to the underworld, where he became king of the dead. Isis hid with Horus in the marshes of the Nile delta until her son was fully grown and could avenge his father and claim his throne. She defended the child against attacks from snakes and scorpions. But because Isis was also Seth’s sister, she wavered during the eventual battle between Horus and Seth. In one episode Isis took pity on Seth and was in consequence beheaded by Horus. Eventually she and Horus were reconciled, and Horus was able to take the throne of Egypt. Isis was the perfect traditional Egyptian wife and mother-content to stay in the background while things went well, but able to use her wits to guard her husband and son should the need arise. The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection. Several narratives tell of her magical process, far stronger than the powers of Osiris and Re. Isis became associated with various other goddesses, including Bastet, Nut, and Hathor, and thus her nature and her powers became increasingly diverse. Isis became known, like other fierce goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon, as the “Eye of Re” and was equated with the Dog Star, Sothis. The first major temple dedicated to Isis was built by the Late Period king Nectanebo II at Behbeit el-Hagar, in the central Nile delta. Other important temples, including the island temple of Philae, were built during Greco-Roman times when Isis was dominant among Egyptian goddesses. Several temples were dedicated to her in Alexandria, where she became the patroness of seafarers. From Alexandria her cult spread to Greece and Rome. Images of Isis nursing the baby Horus may have influenced the early Christian artists who depicted the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus. In many spells in the Pyramid Texts, Isis and Nephthys help the deceased king reach the afterlife. In the Coffin Texts from the Middle Kingdom, Isis appears still more frequently, though in these texts Osiris is credited with reviving the dead more often than she is. New Kingdom sources such as the Book of the Dead describe Isis as protecting deceased souls as they face the dangers in the Duat. They also describe Isis as a member of the divine councils that judge souls’ moral righteousness before admitting them into the afterlife, and she appears in vignettes standing beside Osiris as he presides over this tribunal. Late funerary texts prominently featured her mourning for Osiris, and one such text, one of the Books of Breathing, was said to have been written by her for Osiris’s benefit. [117] In Nubian funerary religion, Isis was regarded as more significant than her husband, because she was the active partner while he only passivelyreceived the offerings she made to sustain him in the afterlife. Isis continues to appear in modern esoteric and pagan belief systems. The concept of a single goddess incarnating all feminine divine powers, partly inspired by Apuleius, became a widespread theme in literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Influential groups and figures in esotericism, such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late nineteenth century and Dion Fortune in the 1930s, adopted this all-encompassing goddess into their belief systems and called her Isis. This conception of Isis influenced the Great Goddess found in many forms of contemporary witchcraft. Today, reconstructions of ancient Egyptian religion, such as Kemetic Orthodoxy or the Church of the Eternal Source, include Isis among the deities they revere.