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Isis: Egyptian Goddess with Ten Thousand Names

ISIS

The most commonly used name for this deity, Isis, is a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name; and its pronunciation as 'eye-sis' is a further corruption by English speakers. The true Egyptian pronunciation is unknown, as Egyptian hieroglyphs only recorded consonants, and left out most of the vowels. The Egyptian hieroglyphics for her name are commonly transliterated as jst; as a convenience, Egyptologists pronounce that as ee-set.
Isis had a cult that spread throughout Egypt and parts of Europe. People worshiped Isis as the ideal, fertile mother. Women worshiped in her cult and, at times, were her primary worshipers. Another way Egyptians honored Isis was through the images and statues placed in her temples. She was part of a triad of deities along with Osiris and Horus.
A festival was held at the end of the year that lasted for 5 days in a row..
The cult of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, was very popular throughout Egypt, and beyond and she became a goddess of almost limitless attributes. Isis was her Greek name, but she was known to the ancient Egyptians as Aset (or Ast, Iset, Uset), which is usually translated as "(female) of throne" or "Queen of the throne".
Isis was a member of the Helioploitan Ennead, as the daughter of Geb (Earth) and Nut(Sky) and the sister and wife of Osiris and the sister of Set, Nephthys and (sometimes) Horus the Elder.
However, because of her association with the throne Isis was sometimes considered to be the wife of Horus the Elder- the patron of the living Pharaoh. Ra and Horus were closely associated during early Egyptian history, while Isis was closely associated with Hathor (who was described as the mother or the wife of Horus or Ra) and so Isis could also be considered to be the wife of Ra or Horus.

Symbols

Several symbols are associated with Isis:

  • Sept: a star that marked the beginning of a new year and the start of the Niles’s flooding.
  • Thet: the buckle or knot of Isis. The thet might represent a stylized uterus with its ligatures and a vagina. It was usually made of a red substance and represents blood and life.
  • Sacred Animals: cow, scorpion and snake.
  • Sacred Birds: dove, hawk, swallow and vulture.

Sept is the star Sirius.....

 

Family Tree

  • Father: Geb, god of the earth
  • Mother: Nut, god of the sky
  • Brother/Husband: Osiris, god of the dead and resurrection
  • Brother: Set, god of evil and darkness
  • Sister: Nepthys, goddess of darkness, decay and death
  • Brother/Son: Horus, sky god, god of kingship
  • Nephew/Son:  ANUBIS, god of embalming. Anubis was the son of Nepthys by either Osiris or Set. His mother abandoned him as a baby but Isis found him and raised him as her son.
  • Nephew/Son: Mesthi, guarded the liver of the dead in a Canopic jar, guardian of the South
  • Nephew/Son: Hapi, guarded the lungs of the dead in a Canopic jar, guardian of the North
  • Nephew/Son: Qeph-Sennuf, guarded the intestines of the dead in a Canopic jar, guardian of the West
  • Nephew/Son: Tuamutef, guarded the stomach of the dead in a Canopic jar, guardian of the East

SIRIUS

Sirius is also known colloquially as the "Dog Star", reflecting its prominence in its constellation, Canis Major (Big Dog).

The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the "dog days" of summer for the ancient Greeks, while to the Polynesians it marked the beginning of winter.

Since earliest times the ancient Egyptian paid particular attention to Sirius, which they identified to the 'soul' of the Goddess Isis. There was a time, very long ago, that Sirius could not be seen in the sky from Egypt. This was because of a phenomenon known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. The Precession is a very slow wobble of our planet taking the polar axis of the Earth in a circular swing of 47 degrees every 26,000 years.

The general effect is that the stellar landscape appears to swing up and down like a pendulum. Before the 12th millennium BC Sirius was below the horizon line as seen from the region of Cairo/Giza. It made its first appearance in the skies at that place in c.10,500 BC. Then it had a declination of about 58 degrees 43', which meant it would have just been visible in the south about 1.5 degree above the horizon line. For early man to witnessing the 'birth' of such a bright star must have been a very impressive sight rich with meaning and messages from the gods. Also the rising of Sirius occurred when the constellation of Virgo was rising in the east, which may partly explain why the star became the symbol of a virgin-goddess. We do not know when exactly Sirius became identified to the goddess Isis, but the idea certainly goes back to the origin of Egyptian culture. It was from the 'womb' of Isis-Sirius that was born the divine child, Horus.

 

More than any other of the ancient Egyptian goddesses, Isis embodied the characteristics of all the lesser goddesses that preceded her. Isis became the model on which future generations of female deities in other cultures were to be based.



As the personification of the "complete female", Isis was called "The One Who Is All", Isis Panthea ("Isis the All Goddess"), and the "Lady of Ten Thousand Names".

Isis was the Egyptian Goddess of Magic. She was originally associated with the throne of Egypt, which contained magical power because it could turn a prince into a king.
Later, Isis "absorbed the attributes of most other goddesses and some gods and became a supreme deity, famous for her curing and redemptive powers" 
She was the sister and wife of Osiris, and after his death, she became the protector of the dead. In her love and devotion to Osiris, Isis became a symbol of the
loving wife while after his death she became a symbol of the Mother in her protection and her devotion to her son, Horus --