Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I is for... Isis


Possibly the best-known goddess in ancient Egyptian mythology, she was the sister of Nephthys and the sister-wife of the god Osiris. When Osiris was killed by his brother Seth, Isis searched high and low for his dismembered body and, with her sister, gave him life for long enough that he was able to make her pregnant, before taking on his role of king of the underworld.

Isis was also the symbolic mother of the Pharaoh (the Pharaoh was the bodily manifestation of Osiris and Isis' son Horus). In this capacity, the goddess formed a vital link between the divinities and royalty. It was Isis' intention to bring up Horus without anyone knowing about him so that he would be able to avenge Osiris' murder.

Isis is therefore known as a protector, not only of Osiris and the Pharaoh but of children too. Her name was often invoked when spells were being cast, seeing as she was so magically powerful. Often manipulative and clever, and worshipped by all across ancient Egypt.

If you want to learn more about Isis, take a look at my ebook on Amazon UK or Amazon.com.

Painting of Isis from the tomb of Seti I (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

4 comments:

  1. Awesome! So, I'm writing part of my Master's Thesis on Isis (or well, more just using her for part of it, or rather just the her in Apuleius)! Do you happen to know any sources specifically talking about her iconography and even more specifically the multi-colored/black dress she wears (apparently starting during the Hellenistic years)? I'm not so familiar with the research about her cult or anything.

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    1. I'm not sure that I know of a great deal to be honest, as I mostly studied the earlier periods. But let me check and get back to you...

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  2. I recognise the name - I know I should know more!

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    1. Oh gosh, I think that about so many things!

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