12/15/08

Goddess of the Week: Isis

Thinking of going a little bit traditional with this year's holiday card?  Perhaps a lovely Madonna with child?  Thank Isis.

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of motherhood and magic.  Although famous for her virginity, she is the mother of Horus -- the sun god -- and the sister and wife of Osiris.  When the god Seth tried to usurp Osiris's power by chopping him into fourteen pieces and scattering his parts around the world, Isis went searching for all the pieces so that she could resurrect him.  She found only thirteen pieces.  For the life of her she couldn't find his penis anywhere.  Being a creative problem solver she cast a new penis for Osiris out of gold, making him even better than before!

Ancient Egyptians celebrated the birth of Horus, the sun, at the winter solstice as they celebrated the return of longer days.  They gave gifts, gorged on feasts and alcohol, and pretty much had a good ol' pagan time.  

In art, Isis is usually depicted sitting on a throne holding the newborn Horus in her arms: http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/MediaCentreEgyptLouvre2007/Isis%20suckling%20Horus.jpg
In later centuries, in an effort to incorporate pagans in into the Christian religion, artists working for the Roman Catholic Church would do the same:  http://www.3dkbottegadartesacra.it/immagini/madonna%20con%20bambino.jpg

 Channel this goddess when: Everything is falling to pieces.  Collect all the ones you can find and improvise the rest.  It will be fabulous.

2 comments:

altadenahiker said...

Improvise the penis? Uh-oh, wouldn't touch that with a ten foot...oh, never mind.

Margaret said...

OK. Maybe I had that one coming.