Isis The Egyptian Goddess

Areas of Influence: Isis had numerous areas of influence. As her cult grew in popularity she absorbed the roles and titles of many earlier Goddesses including: Nekhebet, Bast, Hathor, Serket and Mut.

Her main roles are Mother, fertility Goddess and Goddess of magic and Healing.

The titles: "Great Goddess" and "the Divine One,"  are a testament to the power and appeal of this Egyptian Goddess. This Goddess even  had temples dedicated to her as far away as Britain.

She was described as the Goddess of Magic, Great Lady of Magic and Lady of the Words of Power. This was in recognition of her magical gifts and understanding of power of magical words. The ambitious Isis mastered these abilities after she poisoned Ra and offered to heal him in exchange for her secret name. By sharing this secret all Ra's personal power and knowledge was transferred to Isis.

Together with Osiris she ruled the Gods until he was killed by Set, her jealous brother.

Unable to accept his death she used her magic and healing to bring Osiris back to life and he fathered her child Horus.

Set found out and destroyed Osiris again, Isis used magic once again and granted Osiris immortality.

The Goddess ran away and brought up Horus in secret. She is revered as an excellent mother and there are several works of art that depict her with her son on her lap. She also became a fertility and Earth Goddess as shown by the following titles: Lady of Green Crops, Mother of the Gods, Mother of the Universe, Queen of the Earth. In this role she became the protector and patron of woman and children.

This Goddess was associated with all of the elements: earth as a fertility Goddess, air through her association with wind especially the North wind, fire as a solar Deity she is described as Maker of the Sunrise and the Brilliant One in the Sky and lastly water as she was linked to the flooding of the Nile. Later she also became associated with the sea and boats, responsible for bringing the ship safely home.

Isis was absorbed many of the funerary Goddess roles, replacing Hathor on the solar barque, the ship upon which the dead Kings and Gods sailed the heavens.

She had so many different areas of influence that she earnt the title of Lady of Ten Thousand Names.

Origins and Genealogy: She was the daughter of Nut and Geb, her siblings included Osiris whom she married and Set and Nephthys. Her only child was Horus.

Strengths: Ambitious and a loyal wife and mother.

Weaknesses: She wanted to win and maintain her power at any cost.

 Symbolism


Her name means "female of the throne,"  she was often illustrated with a headdress depicting empty throne symbolsuggestive of both her husbands' absence and that she was the seat of the Pharaoh’s power. She was also considered to be mother of the Egyptian Kings.

Isis was frequently shown as a mother figure with her infant, son Horus. This powerful iconography had great influence on later Christian art depicting the Madonna and baby Jesus.

Alternatively she is shown with a solar disk, cow horns on a vulture headdress. 

In her funerary role she was often given wings and carried the Ankh symbolizing immortality.

Sacred Animal: The cow, snake and scorpion.

Sacred Birds: Hawks, swallows, doves and vultures.

Isis's Archetpes

The Mother

The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

Isis is an archetypal Mother figure, a good mother to her son Horus, she is also said to have nursed the Egyptian Pharaoh and to have been a fertility Goddess for the Earth and her Followers.

The Witch

Uses knowledge of the universal laws of nature, the conscious mind and esoteric powers to manifest their desires.

The shadow Witch uses their gifts to increase their own power.

Isis is guilty of this when she uses magic to poison Ra and tricks him into giving her all his power and knowledge.

Please follow this link to the Archetypes page to discover which other Goddess Archetypes resonate with you.

How To Work With These Archetypes


The Mother: You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective. Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it's needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.

The Witch: The Witch maybe one of your Archetypes can if you have the gift of understanding how to transform situations, influence people, and make your visions and dreams a reality.

The Shadow Witch reminds you not to use these abilities to gain power over others as this is not magic but sorcery.





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