Posts Tagged With: Horus

Your Charm for August 16: The Utchat

Your Charm for Today

The Utchat

Today’s Meaning:  You must take steps to make this aspect safe. There are issues you may not be aware of that may cause harm or injury.

General Description:  Much importance was attached to this lucky talisman in Egypt, the Utchat, or Eye. The word Utchat means primarily strength, and was, at the summer solstice (about June 22nd), applied to the Sun at that time when at its greatest strength and power on earth. The Eye of Horus was supposed to bring strength, vigour, safety, good health, and protectionn to the wearer. Many of these charms were engraved by the Egyptians with the 140th chapter of their Book of the Dead. This was considered to endow the Utchat with particularly strong and effective magical powers.

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Calendar of the Sun for August 7

Calendar of the Sun

7 Weodmonath

Neith’s Day: Breaking Of The Nile

Colors: Blue and green
Elements: Water and earth
Altar: Upon cloth of earth-green and river-blue place an animal skin with two crossed arrows and a bow upon it, burning frankincense, a weaver’s shuttle, and a bowl of wet earth.
Offering: Work in the earth, or make things.
Daily Meal: Fresh vegetables and greens. Meat is also acceptable.

Invocation to Neith

Hail Neith, Lady of the Arrow!
Huntress of the desert, your sight
Is keen and your aim fine,
And on this day the Nile’s rise
Breaks with your first shot,
And begins its fall to the shore.
Your Word turns the waters
And reveals the fertile black earth.
Hail Neith, Lady of the Loom!
You weave the tapestry of Life,
Crafting joy with your skilled hands.
Sister of Selket, Guide of the Dead,
All warriors are your province,
You take the ones fallen bravely in battle
As well as those who fought reluctantly.
No warrior is judged by his skill,
Only by his circumstance,
In the light of your generous eyes.
Hail, huntress and weaver,
Lady skilled in both inner and outer worlds,
Who sees no contradictions therein.
Push back the oncoming waters
And lay bare the rich black earth,
The boundary between the elements,
Where your footsteps leave a trail
That only a hunter could follow.

Chant: Arrow flies, water falls,
Horizon turns and sunset calls.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Calendar of the Sun for July 19

Calendar of the Sun

19 Haymonath

Opet: Day of the Marriage of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Gold, blue, and red.
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of gold, blue, and red, much decorated with Egyptian symbols, place incense of frankincense, a chalice of beer, wreaths of flowers, and two great statues of Isis and Osiris. These are borne into the chapel in a procession, with all present clanging rhythm instruments.
Offerings: Beer. Grain. Flowers.
Daily Meal: Beer. Egyptian food – flatbreads and lentils, figs, dates, beef.

Invocation for the Wedding of Isis and Osiris

Hail Osiris, Green Man Below!
Hail Isis, Winged Mother!
When you two came to the marriage bed,
Love was great between you,
Yet more than love was created!
You taught the people to plow the land,
And to sow new seeds, and breed their animals fine.
Hail Osiris, Crowned King with Crook and Flail!
Hail Isis, Queen and Throne!
You taught the people of crafts and skill,
To make beautiful things and dream greater ones.
Hail Osiris, Beloved One!
Hail Isis, Lady of the Knotted Girdle!
You taught the people of marriage,
Of the power of two coming together,
By your own divine example.
Hail Osiris, Lord of the Dead!
Hail Isis, Mourning Mother of Horus!
You taught the people of a love
That lasts beyond death and destruction,
A love strong enough to change the world.
Bless us, Royal King and Queen,
And may we strive to your example:
That by our relationships with the divine
Outside us and in each other,
We may change the world itself.

(The statues are reverenced, and laid together in a bed draped in white, and sprinkled with petals and wine. They will be left there until the hour of Arktos, when they will be removed again.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Magickal Spell of the Day for July 11 – Eye of Horus Crystal Spell To Stop a Person Envying You

An Eye of Horus Blue Crystal Spell to Stop A Person from Envying You

The Eye of Horus, the ancient Egyptian Sky God, has been a symbol of protection against envy in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean lands for thousands of Years.

The Eye of Horus was made of blue glass or faience (a blue glass and ceramic mix), or painted on a blue stone such as lapis lazuli, sodalite or falcon’s eye. Horus was depicted as a falcon -headed deity. The protective image of Horus was worn on a necklace or carried as a charm.

Items You Will Need:

A round, flat, blue crystal; a small pot of acrylic or modeling paint and a thin brush, or a fine-line permanent ink market in a color that will show clearly on your chosen crystal.

Best Time To Cast:

During the Waning Moon, after sunset.

The Spell:

  1. Draw or paint the Eye of Horus on the blue crystal as you do so picturing the envious person surrounded in gentle blue light and turning away from you.
  2. When you have finished painting, enchant your crystal by moving your hands nine times over it, palms downwards, the left hand circling widdershin (anti-clockwise) and the right hand circling deosil (clockwise). As you move your hands, chant:  “Eye bright, By day and night, Turn the sight of (name of person) from me, And on them light. Bright blessings.” (If you wish you can send blessings to an ill-wisher, you will be doubly blessed yourself.)
  3. Keep the eye charm somewhere between you and the envious person.
  4. When the paint chips or fades, it is time to replace the charm (but this may never become necessary).
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April 13 – Daily Feast

April 13 – Daily Feast

The quiet companionship of a comforting person is like balm to the soul. Like Mother Earth, she absorbs the shock of pain and erases the wounds, and even the scars, with time. These kindred spirits seem to be able to take our hand and walk with us through the difficult places they have already traveled. They keep us from the loneliness that pervades our experiences, waiting for a word that we have passed through safely. And best of all, they never bring it up again but let the past take care of the past. Their eyes are on tomorrow, their hands on the present time so that we never hear empty echoes and are never reminded that we were unhappy. And then, we in quiet ways, can reach back and take someone’s hand.

~ I take you by the hand with all my heart….you have spoken comfort to us. ~

LITTLE BEAVER’S WIFE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Dragon’s Breath in the Earth

Dragon’s Breath in the Earth

 
 
Many of the old legends speak of killing the dragon. Sometimes, the real meaning of this term is clarified when one is told that the dragon continued to live. Of course, if you are reading Christianized stories of dragons, the dragon is always killed by a faithful saint or hero; this is a less than subtle reference to Christianity “killing” Paganism. But a great many of the legends were in existence long before Christians came along; therefore the term “killing” must mean something far different than destroying your religious rivals.
 
If you look at ancient Egyptian paintings of Horus and his Sun Boat sailing over Apep, sometimes called Apophis, serpent of the Underworld and the dead or winter season, and read the ancient stories of these daily and seasonal voyages, you become aware that the word “killing” has another meaning. The picture show the God Set “staking” or guiding Apep by a series of rods driven into the ground. A similar practice is still used to control or change the Earth’s energy in certain areas of the world in the belief that out-of-control dragon energy adversely affects humans, crops, animals and the land in general.
 
The Chinese emphasized the importance of controlling the “dragon’s breath” in architecture and landscape. This is still a respected belief in Hong Kong and other places having Chinese communities. There are professionals adept at finding imbalances of the dragon’s breath, and they are in demand, not only by home owners, but by businessmen. If a series of unexplained illnesses or misfortunes strike a business, for instance, the owner will go though the ordinary procedure to discover the cause. If there is nothing found, or nothing appears to alleviate the problem, he will send for a person skilled in detecting a disruption of dragon’s breath; this person is called a Feng-shui diviner.
 
A visit to the premises is made. This Feng-shui diviner sometimes uses a special magnetic compass that has as many as 38 concentric rings around the needle. Each ring is divided into special traditional measurements of space and time. The diviner takes sightings along what are called the vains of the dragon. These veins are raised features of the landscape, such as trees, rocks, watercourses, valleys, etc. Within buildings, the diviner considers such things as doorways, halls, the directions of corners, and so on. Any recommendation made by the diviner are implemented with great seriousness. If possible a small garden, aligned in certain ways, is made outside for the dragons of the region. Inside a shine is placed in a particular corner or area to accommodate the reigning draconic being. Dragon images are placed in both the garden and the shrine to honor the dragon, and also to remind it of its good fortune to be recognized and given respect by the human residnets.
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Isis and Osiris Love Placket (Storm Moon)

Isis and Osiris Love Placket

 
The Goddess Isis and her consort Osiris brought agriculture, music and spirituality to the ancient land of Egypt. Osiris was gentle and hated violence, and Isis was wise and adept at the ways of magick. When you bring this Goddess and God into your love magick, you bring divine love and caring into your relationship.
 
For this spell, you will need a white candle, a red envelope, a lock of your hair and a lock of your lover’s hair, and a green felt pen.
 
Light the candle and dedicate it to the Goddess and God:
 
Wise Isis and gentle Osiris
May your love always shine on me and my lover.
 
Take the red envelope, place in it your lock of hair and your lover’s, and seal it with a few drops of candle wax. Take the green felt pen and draw the image of an ankh on the front of the envelope. Now, draw a heart around the ankh, and as you do so, say the following:
 
Bring life to my love
Let it grow into eternity
So mote it be! Blessed be!
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The Goddess Isis

The Goddess Isis

Isis or in original more likely Aset (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις) was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Isis is the goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility.

The goddess Isis (the mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day. At some time Isis and Hathor had the same headdress. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother, Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Seth. Her magical skills restored his body to life after she gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important in later Egyptian religious beliefs.

Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children from whom all beginnings arose. In later times, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of her tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. This occurrence of his death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era.

Origin Of The Name

The name “Isis” is an anglicized version of the Greek version of her name, which itself changed the original Egyptian name spelling by the addition of a last “-s” because of the grammatical requirements of Greek endings.

The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant “(She of the) Throne.” The true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain, however, because hieroglyphs do not have vowels. Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages (specifically, Greek) and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *Usat [*ˈʔyːsəʔ]. Osiris’s name—that is, *Usir ‘Osiris’ (ws-ỉr) also starts with the throne glyph ʔs (“-s”). The name survived in Coptic dialects as Ēse or Ēsi, as well as in compound words surviving in names of later people such as “Har-si-Ese”, which means “Horus, son of Isis”.

For convenience, Egyptologists arbitrarily choose to pronounce her name as “ee-set”. Sometimes they may also say “ee-sa” because the final “t” in her name was a feminine suffix, which is known to have been dropped in speech during the last stages of the Egyptian language.

The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power, as the pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. Her cult was popular throughout Egypt, but the most important sanctuaries were at Behbeit El-Hagar in the Nile delta, in Lower Egypt and, beginning in the reign with Nectanebo I (380-362 BCE), on the Upper Egyptian island of Philae.

Early History

Her origins are uncertain, but are believed to have come from the Nile Delta. Like other Egyptian deities she did have a centralized Cult of Isis (New cults) in the Hellenistic Civilization. First mentions of Isis date back to the Fifth dynasty of Egypt which is when the first literary inscriptions are found, but her cult became prominent late in Egyptian history, when it began to absorb the cults of many other goddesses with strong cult centers. This is when the cult of Osiris arose and she became such an important figure in those beliefs. Her cult eventually spread outside Egypt.

During the formative centuries of Christianity, the religion of Isis drew converts from every corner of the Roman Empire. In Italy itself, the Egyptian faith was a dominant force. At Pompeii, archaeological evidence reveals that Isis played a major role. In Rome, temples were built and obelisks erected in her honour. In Greece, traditional centres of worship in Delos, Delphi, and Eleusis were taken over by followers of Isis, and this occurred in northern Greece and Athens as well. Harbours of Isis were to be found on the Arabian Sea and the Black Sea. Inscriptions show followers in Gaul, Spain, Pannonia, Germany, Arabia, Asia Minor, Portugal and many shrines even in Britain.

Temples

Most Egyptian deities first appeared as very local cults and throughout their history retained those local centres of worship, with most major cities and towns widely known as the home of these deities. Isis originally was an independent and popular deity established in predynastic times, prior to 3100 BC, at Sebennytos in the northern delta.

Eventually temples to Isis began to spread outside of Egypt. In many locations, devotees of Isis considered a number of the local goddesses to be Isis, but under different names. The worship of Isis was joined to that of other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, Aphrodite, and more. During the Hellenic era, due to her attributes as a protector and mother, as well as a lusty aspect gained when she absorbed some aspects of Hathor, she became the patron goddess of sailors, who spread her worship with the trading ships circulating the Mediterranean Sea.

Likewise, the Arabian goddess Al-Ozza or Al-Uzza العُزّى (al ȝozza), whose name is close to that of Isis, is believed to be a manifestation of her. This, however, is thought to be based on the similarity in the name.

Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, Isis became one of the most significant of the mystery religions, and many classical writers refer to her temples, cults, and rites.

Temples to Isis were built in Iraq, Greece and Rome, with a well preserved example discovered in Pompeii. On the Greek island of Delos a Doric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates. The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to Isis was built. At Philae her worship persisted until the 6th century, long after the rise of Christianity and the subsequent suppression of paganism. The cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD on the island of Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) to destroy all pagan temples was not enforced there until the time of Justinian. This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and Diocletian. Every year they visited Elaphantine and at certain intervals took the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes for oracular purposes before returning it. Justinian sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople. Philae was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed.

Associations

Due to the association between knots and magical power, a symbol of Isis was the tiet or tyet (meaning welfare/life), also called the Knot of Isis, Buckle of Isis, or the Blood of Isis, which is shown to the right. In many respects the tyet resembles an ankh, except that its arms point downward, and when used as such, seems to represent the idea of eternal life or resurrection. The meaning of Blood of Isis is more obscure, but the tyet often was used as a funerary amulet made of red wood, stone, or glass, so this may simply have been a description of the appearance of the materials used.

The star Sopdet (Sirius) is associated with Isis. The appearance of the star signified the advent of a new year and Isis was likewise considered the goddess of rebirth and reincarnation, and as a protector of the dead. The Book of the Dead outlines a particular ritual that would protect the dead, enabling travel anywhere in the underworld, and most of the titles Isis holds signify her as the goddess of protection of the dead.

Probably due to assimilation with the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus, during the Roman period, the rose was used in her worship. The demand for roses throughout the empire turned rose production into an important industry.

Mythology

When seen as the deification of the wife of the pharaoh in later myths, the prominent role of Isis was as the assistant to the deceased pharaoh. Thus she gained a funerary association, her name appearing over eighty times in the Pyramid Texts, and she was said to be the mother of the four deities who protected the canopic jars—more specifically, Isis was viewed as protector of the liver-jar-deity, Imsety. This association with the pharaoh’s wife also brought the idea that Isis was considered the spouse of Horus (once seen as her child), who was protector, and later the deification of the pharaoh. By the Middle Kingdom, the 11th through 14th dynasties between 2040 and 1640 BC, as the funeral texts began to be used by more members of Egyptian society, other than the royal family, her role also grows to protect the nobles and even the commoners

By the New Kingdom, the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties between 1570 and 1070 BC, Isis gained prominence as the mother and protector of the pharaoh. During this period, she is said to breastfeed the pharaoh and often is depicted doing so.

The role of her name and her throne-crown is uncertain. Some early Egyptologists believed that being the throne-mother was Isis’s original function, however, a more modern view states that aspects of that role came later by association. In many African tribes, the throne is known as the mother of the king, and that concept fits well with either theory, possibly giving insight into the thinking of ancient Egyptians.

*Sister-wife to Osiris

In the Old Kingdom, the 3rd Dynasty through to the 6th Dynasty dated between 2686 to 2134 BC, the pantheons of individual Egyptian cities varied by region. During the 5th dynasty, Isis became one of the Ennead of the city of Heliopolis. She was believed to be a daughter of Nut and Geb, and sister to Osiris, Nephthys, and Set. The two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, often were depicted on coffins, with wings outstretched, as protectors against evil. As a funerary deity, she was associated with Osiris, lord of the underworld (Duat), and was considered his wife.

A later mythology (ultimately a result of the replacement of another deity, Anubis, of the underworld when the cult of Osiris gained more authority), tells us of the birth of Anubis. The tale describes how Nephthys was denied a child by Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to seduce him. The plot failed, but Osiris now found Nephthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They coupled, resulting in the birth of Anubis. Alternatively, Nephthys had intentionally assumed the form of Isis in order to trick Osiris into fathering her son. In fear of Set’s retribution upon them, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out and kill the child. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he becomes a son of Osiris), and why he could not inherit Osiris’s position (he was not a legitimate heir in this new birth scenario), neatly preserving Osiris’s position as lord of the underworld. It should be remembered, however, that this new myth was only a later creation of the Osirian cult who wanted to depict Set in an evil position, as the enemy of Osiris.

In another Osirian myth, Set had a banquet for Osiris in which he brought in a beautiful box and said that whoever could fit in the box perfectly would get to keep it. Set had measured Osiris in his sleep and made sure that he was the only one who could fit the box. Several tried to see whether they fit. Once it was Osiris’s turn to see if he could fit in the box, Set closed the lid on him so that the box was now a coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away. Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial. She found the box in a tree in Byblos, a city along the Phoenician coast, and brought it back to Egypt, hiding it in a swamp. But Set went hunting that night and found the box. Enraged, Set chopped Osiris’s body into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt to ensure that Isis could never find Osiris again for a proper burial. Isis and her sister Nephthys went looking for these pieces, but could only find thirteen of the fourteen. Fish had swallowed the last piece, his phallus, so Isis made him a new one with magic, putting his body back together after which they conceived Horus. The number of pieces is described on temple walls variously as fourteen and sixteen, and occasionally forty-two, one for each nome or district.

A later mythology (ultimately a result of the replacement of another deity, Anubis, of the underworld when the cult of Osiris gained more authority), tells us of the birth of Anubis. The tale describes how Nephthys was denied a child by Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to seduce him. The plot failed, but Osiris now found Nephthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They coupled, resulting in the birth of Anubis. Alternatively, Nephthys had intentionally assumed the form of Isis in order to trick Osiris into fathering her son. In fear of Set’s retribution upon them, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out and kill the child. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he becomes a son of Osiris), and why he could not inherit Osiris’s position (he was not a legitimate heir in this new birth scenario), neatly preserving Osiris’s position as lord of the underworld. It should be remembered, however, that this new myth was only a later creation of the Osirian cult who wanted to depict Set in an evil position, as the enemy of Osiris.

In another Osirian myth, Set had a banquet for Osiris in which he brought in a beautiful box and said that whoever could fit in the box perfectly would get to keep it. Set had measured Osiris in his sleep and made sure that he was the only one who could fit the box. Several tried to see whether they fit. Once it was Osiris’s turn to see if he could fit in the box, Set closed the lid on him so that the box was now a coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away. Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial. She found the box in a tree in Byblos, a city along the Phoenician coast, and brought it back to Egypt, hiding it in a swamp. But Set went hunting that night and found the box. Enraged, Set chopped Osiris’s body into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt to ensure that Isis could never find Osiris again for a proper burial. Isis and her sister Nephthys went looking for these pieces, but could only find thirteen of the fourteen. Fish had swallowed the last piece, his phallus, so Isis made him a new one with magic, putting his body back together after which they conceived Horus. The number of pieces is described on temple walls variously as fourteen and sixteen, and occasionally forty-two, one for each nome or district.

* Assimilation of Hathor

When the cult of Ra rose to prominence he became associated with the similar deity, Horus. Hathor had been paired with Ra in some regions and when Isis began to be paired with Ra, soon Hathor and Isis began to be merged in some regions also as, Isis-Hathor.

*Mother of Horus

By merging with Hathor, Isis became the mother of Horus, rather than his wife, and thus, when beliefs of Ra absorbed Atum into Atum-Ra, it also had to be taken into account that Isis was one of the Ennead, as the wife of Osiris. It had to be explained how Osiris, however, who (as lord of the dead) being dead, could be considered a father to Horus, who was not considered dead. This conflict in themes led to the evolution of the idea that Osiris needed to be resurrected, and therefore, to the Legend of Osiris and Isis, of which Plutarch’s Greek description written in the 1st century AD, De Iside et Osiride, contains the most extensive account known today.

Yet another set of late myths detail the adventures of Isis after the birth of Osiris’s posthumous son, Horus. Isis was said to have given birth to Horus at Khemmis, thought to be located on the Nile Delta. Many dangers faced Horus after birth, and Isis fled with the newborn to escape the wrath of Set, the murderer of her husband. In one instance, Isis heals Horus from a lethal scorpion sting; she also performs other miracles in relation to the cippi, or the plaques of Horus. Isis protected and raised Horus until he was old enough to face Set, and subsequently, became the pharaoh of Egypt.

* Magic

In order to resurrect Osiris for the purpose of having the child Horus, it was necessary for Isis to “learn” magic (which long had been her domain before the cult of Ra arose), and so it was said that Isis tricked Ra (i.e. Amun-Ra/Atum-Ra) into telling her his “secret name,” by causing a snake to bite him, for which only Isis had the cure. The names of deities were secret and not divulged to any but the religious leaders. Knowing the secret name of a deity enabled one to have power of the deity. That he would use his “secret name” to “survive” implies that the serpent had to be a more powerful deity than Ra. The oldest deity known in Egypt was Wadjet, the Egyptian cobra, whose cult never was eclipsed in Ancient Egyptian religion. As a deity from the same region, she would have been a benevolent resource for Isis. The use of secret names became central in late Egyptian magic spells, and Isis often is implored to “use the true name of Ra” in the performance of rituals. By the late Egyptian historical period, after the occupations by the Greeks and the Romans, Isis became the most important and most powerful deity of the Egyptian pantheon because of her magical skills. Magic is central to the entire mythology of Isis, arguably more so than any other Egyptian deity.

Prior to this late change in the nature of Egyptian religion, the rule of Ma’at had governed the correct actions for most of the thousands of years of Egyptian religion, with little need for magic. Thoth had been the deity who resorted to magic when it was needed. The goddess which held the quadruple roles of healer, protector of the canopic jars, protector of marriage, and goddess of magic previously had been Serket. She then became considered an aspect of Isis. Thus it is not surprising that Isis had a central role in Egyptian magic spells and ritual, especially those of protection and healing. In many spells, she also is completely merged even with Horus, where invocations of Isis are supposed to involve Horus’s powers automatically as well. In Egyptian history the image of a wounded Horus became a standard feature of Isis’s healing spells, which typically invoked the curative powers of the milk of Isis. (Silverman, Ancient Egypt, 135)

In Egypt

Isis was venerated first in Egypt. Isis was the only goddess worshiped by all Egyptians alike, and whose influence was so widespread that she had become completely syncretic with the Greek goddess Demeter. After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter, Isis eventually became known as Queen of Heaven.

*Greco-Roman world

Following the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great the worship of Isis spread throughout the Graeco-Roman world. Tacitus writes that after Julius Caesar’s assassination, a temple in honour of Isis had been decreed; Augustus suspended this, and tried to turn Romans back to the Roman deities who were closely associated with the state. Eventually the Roman emperor Caligula abandoned the Augustan wariness toward what was described as oriental cults, and it was in his reign that the Isiac festival of the Navigium Isidis was established in Rome. According to Josephus, Caligula donned female garb and took part in the mysteries he instituted, and in the Hellenistic age Isis acquired a “new rank as a leading goddess of the Mediterranean world.” Vespasian, along with Titus, practised incubation in the Roman Iseum. Domitian built another Iseum along with a Serapeum. Trajan appears before Isis and Horus, presenting them with votive offerings of wine, in a bas-relief on his triumphal arch in Rome. Hadrian decorated his villa at Tibur with Isiac scenes. Galerius regarded Isis as his protectress

Roman perspectives on cults were syncretic, seeing in new deities, merely local aspects of a familiar one. For many Romans, Egyptian Isis was an aspect of Phrygian Cybele, whose orgiastic rites were long-naturalized at Rome, indeed, she was known as Isis of Ten Thousand Names.

Among these names of Roman Isis, Queen of Heaven is outstanding for its long and continuous history. Herodotus identified Isis with the Greek and Roman goddesses of agriculture, Demeter and Ceres.

In later years, Isis also had temples throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BC, found in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia, is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10 denars banknote, issued in 1996.

The male first name “Isidore” (also “Isador”), means in Greek “Gift of Isis” (similar to “Theodore”, “God’s Gift”). The name, which became common in Roman times, survived the suppression of the Isis worship and remains popular up to the present – being among others the name of several Christian saints.

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