Isis and Osiris
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A little history of Isis and Osiris . Much more to come as this is a vast topic.
Isis:Mother Goddess of Ancient Egypt
Mistress of magick:
Isis (called "Aset" by the Egyptians), a daughter of Nut and Geb, is known in Ancient Egyptian mythology as a goddess of magic. Wife and sister of Osiris, Isis was originally considered a funerary goddess. After her resurrection by the magic of Osiris, who had been killed by his brother Set, Isis was considered "more powerful than a thousand soldiers" and "the clever-tongued one whose speech never fails." She is sometimes invoked as an assistant in magical rituals in modern Wicca.
Isis and Osiris:
Isis and her brother, Osiris, were recognized as husband and wife. Isis loved Osiris, but their brother Set (or Seth) was jealous of Osiris, and planned to kill him. Set tricked Osiris and murdered him, and Isis was highly distraught. She found Osiris' body within a great tree, which was used by the Pharoah in his palace. She brought Osiris back to life, and the two of them conceived Horus.
Isis in Art and Books:
Because Isis' name means, literally, "throne" in the Ancient Egyptian language, she is usually represented with a throne as a depiction of her power. She is often shown holding a lotus as well. After Isis was assimilated with Hathor, she was sometimes depicted with the twin horns of a cow on her head, with a solar disc between them.
Goddess of Fertility and Motherhood:
In addition to being the fertile wife of Osiris, Isis is honored for her role as the mother of Horus, one of Egypt's most powerful gods. She was also the divine mother of every pharaoh of Egypt, and ultimately of Egypt itself. She assimilated with Hathor, another goddess of fertility, and is often depicted nursing her son Horus. There is a wide belief that this image served as inspiration for the classic Christian portrait of the Madonna and Child.
Goddess of Magick:
After Ra created all things, Isis tricked him by creating a serpent which ambushed Ra on his daily journey across the heavens. The serpent bit Ra, who was powerless to undo the poison. Isis announced that she could heal Ra from the poison and destroy the serpent, but would only do so if Ra revealed his True Name as payment. By learning his True Name, Isis was able to gain power over Ra.
To me Isis is my deity because she stands for a strong female, mother, and goddess all in one. Working with her has been wonderful and I enjoy the experiences she has given me.
Beyond Egypt's Borders:
Isis was at the center of a cult that spread far beyond Egypt's boundaries. The Romans were aware of the cult's existence, but it was frowned upon by many of the ruling class. The emporer Augustus (Octavian) decreed that worship of Isis was forbidden as part of his attempt to return Rome to Roman gods. For some Roman worshippers, Isis was absorbed into the cult of Cybele, which held bloody rites in honor of their mother goddess. The cult of Isis moved as far afield as ancient Greece, and was known as a mystery tradition among the Hellenes until it was banned by Christianity around the sixth century c.e.
Goddess of Death and Rebirth:
After Set murdered and dismembered Osiris, Isis used her magic and power to bring her husband back to life. The realms of life and death are often associated with both Isis and her faithful sister Nephthys, who are depicted together on coffins and funerary texts. They are usually shown in their human form, with the addition of the wings that they used to shelter and protect Osiris.
Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
Ancient Egyptian legends
by Margaret Alice Murray
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