GREAT MOTHER ISIS, GODDESS OF HEALING AND MAGIC





Isis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology. She was the sister and wife of Osiris. As goddess of life and magic, Isis protected women and children, and healed the sick. Closely linked to the throne, she was one of the greatest goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Her symbols were the ankh, her wings, and her throne headdress. Isis was also known for her magical power, which enabled her to revive Osiris and to protect and heal Horus, and for her cunning. By virtue of her magical knowledge, she was said to be more clever than a million gods,
Isis is part of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a family of nine deities descended from the creator god, Atum or Ra. She and her siblings—Osiris, Set, and Nephthys—are the last generation of the Ennead, born to Geb, god of the earth, and Nut, goddess of the sky.


Although initially an obscure goddess, Isis came to fulfill a variety of roles, primarily as wife and mother, mourner, and magical healer. She was a role model for women, was a principal deity in rites for the dead, and cured the sick. She also had strong links with the kingship and the pharaohs. Horus was equated with each living pharaoh and Osiris with the pharaoh's deceased predecessors. Isis was therefore the mythological mother and wife of kings. In the Pyramid Texts her primary importance to the king was as one of the deities who protected and assisted him in the afterlife. Her prominence in royal ideology grew in the New Kingdom. Temple reliefs from that time on show the king nursing at Isis's breast; her milk not only healed her child, but symbolized his divine right to rule. Royal ideology increasingly emphasized the importance of queens as earthly counterparts of the goddesses who served as wives to the king and mothers to his heirs. Initially the most important of these goddesses was Hathor, whose attributes in art were incorporated into queens' crowns. But because of her own mythological links with queenship, Isis too was given the same titles and regalia as human queens.







Isis was also known for her magical power, which enabled her to revive Osiris and to protect and heal Horus, and for her cunning. By virtue of her magical knowledge, she was said to be "more clever than a million gods "Isis also had an extensive network of connections with Greek and Roman deities, as well as some from other cultures. She was not fully integrated into the Greek pantheon, but she was at different times equated with a variety of Greek mythological figures, including Demeter, Aphrodite, or Io, a human woman who was turned into a cow and chased by the goddess Hera from Greece to Egypt.The claim that she was unique was meant to emphasize her greatness more than to make a precise theological statement.




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