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Isis

Isis

The ancient Egyptian Mother Goddess, the prototype
of the faithful wife and fertile, protective mother.
Isis is associated with Sirius, the dog star, the rising of
which signals the vernal equinox. Her symbol is the
Moon. She is often shown crowned with a lunar orb nestled
between the horns of a bull or ram. The worship of
Isis was adopted by the Greeks and Romans.

The name Isis is the Greek word for the Egyptian hieroglyphic
for “throne.” She was the sister and wife of the
god Osiris. A mortal magician, Isis acquired immortality
by tricking the sun god, Ra, into revealing his secret
name. She obtained some of his spittle, made a snake
from it and left the snake in his path. Ra was bitten and in
great agony. She offered to relieve the pain if he would tell
her his secret name, and he relented

When Osiris’ treacherous brother, Set (Seth), murdered
and dismembered him, Isis scoured the land to find
the body parts and used her magic to put them together
and breathe life into the body so that she and Osiris
could be together one last time before he left to rule the
underworld. A son, Horus, was born posthumously and
in a virgin birth, and Isis protected the child against Set
until Horus was old enough to fight. In art, she was often
depicted holding Horus in her arms. After the child
was born, Set returned and cut the body of Osiris into
14 pieces, which he scattered along the Nile. Once again,
Isis went in search of them, but this time she buried each
piece where she found it, so that it would fertilize the
land.

Isis of the mysteries and Hermetic wisdom. According to
Plutarch, numerous ancient writers believed Isis to be
the daughter of Hermes, while others said she was the
daughter of Prometheus. Plutarch said her name meant
“wisdom.” She was known as the goddess of 10,000 appellations.
In the Egyptian mysteries, Isis represented the
female aspect of the Deity to mankind; she was the Universal
Mother of all that lives; wisdom, truth and power.
Statues of her were decorated with stars, the Moon and
the Sun. Her girdle was joined together with four golden
plates which signify the four elements of nature. Her
priests were adept at controlling and using the Unseen
Forces.

According to Hermetic wisdom, Isis, the Goddess of
Women, was schooled by Hermes. With him, she invented
the writings of all nations, caused men to love women,
invented sailing, gave mankind its laws, ended cannibalism,
made justice more powerful than gold or silver, instructed
mankind in the mysteries and caused truth to be
considered beautiful. An inscription at her temple at Sais
read: “I am that which is, which hath been, and which
shall be; and no man has ever lifted the veil that hides my
Divinity from mortal eyes.” The Isis of the mysteries is
completely veiled by a scarlet cloth. To initiates who learn
her mysteries, she lifts her veil, and they are to remain
forever silent about what they have seen.
The Bembine Table of Isis. In 1527, after the sacking of
Rome, a bronze tablet measuring 50 by 30 inches and decorated
with silver and enamel inlay came into the possession
of a locksmith or ironworker, who sold it to Cardinal
Bembo of Italy. The Bembine Table of Isis, or Isaic Table,
is covered with hieroglyphics and inscriptions concerning
mystical knowledge and an occult system of sacrifices,
rites and ceremonies. It apparently was once used as an
altar, perhaps in the chambers where the mysteries of Isis
were revealed to initiates. Eliphas Levi believed the tablet
was a key to the Book of Thoth, or the Tarot. The tablet is
in the Museum of Antiquities at Turin.

Isis as goddess of magic and healing. Isis possessed powerful
magic that made even Anubis, god of death, subject
to her whims. Therefore, people prayed to her on behalf
of the sick and dying. She was goddess of healing and
childbirth. At night, she visited the sick, brushing them
gently with her wings as she said magical incantations to
heal them.

Isis is identified as the Virgin in the constellation Virgo.
In Christianity, she has been absorbed by the Virgin
Mary. Her image is used in association with magical arts,
the occult, thaumaturgy and sorcery.

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Categories:   Paganism and Witchcraft

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