10/6/10

Goddess of the Week: Isis

Detail of the frieze of the wells in the tomb ...Image via WikipediaClaire wants a wind goddess -- a gift for her daughter who works with wind turbines. Well, Claire, give your daughter the Egyptian goddess Isis. Isis was, among other things, a wind goddess, and she had these enormous wings that blew sweet, cool air into the Nile Valley.

Isis was the beloved consort of Osiris. Together they ruled the heavens and earth. But then, one day, Osiris's totally evil brother Seth killed Osiris so that he could be king. It's just like "The Lion King," except instead of lions there are gods, and instead of a bereft son wandering off with a singing warthog and meerkat, there's a bereft wife who cuts off her hair and goes searching for her husband's missing dead body. Finally, she gets the dead body and hides it in a swamp, but then totally-evil Seth comes and chops it into fourteen pieces and sends them floating down the river. Isis goes hunting again, finds 13 of the pieces and then has to give up because a fish ate the 14th, Osiris's penis, and, after all, there are a lot of fish in the sea. She can't go around looking for the penis in every one.

Turns out that, when you're Isis, you don't really need the penis anyway. She took her enormous wings and flapped and flapped until she created a big enough wind to blow life back into Osiris. But bad news: since he had been dead he had to go be the lord of the underworld. Maybe it had to do with the missing penis. Anyway, it was a sort of bittersweet reunion, but they did penislessly conceive a child, Horus, who went on to torment and, eventually, destroy Seth. So at least there's a Hollywood ending.

Channel this goddess: When you work with wind turbines, of course! If you want to channel her for other things, I'll let you do that at your discretion. (But really, as tragic as things get, don't take your losses out on your hair.)

Need a goddess: I've got goddesses! Post a comment telling me your need and I will see what I can do.



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21 comments:

barbra said...

Penislessly! Great word inventing, Margaret!

phoebat said...

margaret this is one of your funniest!

i will definitely remember osiris and isis's memorable courtship.

phoebat said...

and... i know there are some ahead of me... but when you get a chance i could use a goddess that helps me be strong and not rush to the rescue of people who create their own problems. thank you dame margaret gatherer of goddesses.

altadenahiker said...

You never fail to amaze me. You really don't. May the wind be always at your back.

Stacey @ Entropified said...

I read "pennilessly." Trouble either way.

Jess said...

penises are overrated anyway. There's one that gave me my awesome kids, but I'm pretty sure that was on accident. Other than that, they're nothing but trouble! ;)

Petrea Burchard said...

A Hollywood ending! This one's a hoot, Margaret. You always innovate when you write. You always surprise.

Jean Spitzer said...

The moral of the story is, don't take your losses out on your hair? But don't we all?

Poor Osiris. I wonder if he was grateful for Isis's intervention, considering.

Olga said...

What a madcap bunch--those Egyptian divinities! And who knew they invented artificial insemination?

Daisy said...

I'm not sure what's funnier, the story of Isis as told by Margaret, or the comments! Thank you all for starting my morning with a good belly laugh ... or maybe it was Isis blowing through? :-)

... daisy... said...

Woah... this sounds like a Goddess soap opera!!!!! :-D

Margaret said...

Phoebat: You got it!

Jean: Yes. We always make our poor hair suffer. It's time to stand up for hair.

Olga: I didn't think of that! They did invent AI

Daisy: I do have the best commenters.

...D...: The Egyptians also invented Soap Operas.

Deb said...

OMG Margaret, you are freaking hilarious. Only you could get away with using the word penis on your blog. I love this story - particularly YOUR version. ~sigh~ Always a pleasure...

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I recently read that Isis and Osiris were together in their mother's womb. While in utero, they engaged in love making. I don't have any first hand experience in such things, but I have to think that was tough on mom, goddess or not.

phoebat said...

pennilessly kept cropping up for me too.

to stand up for hair i used an associative ref in this post (notice, cropping).

who was there mother? poor thing.

uwant2gogo said...

Yes, there was certainly a whole lot of chopping (of hair, of penises, of fish) on the Nile. The image of Isis contemplating endless celibacy, Bad Hair Days,and gutted fish sans missing member is black comedy straight out of a Coen Brothers movie Hilarious, Margaret!

Shell Sherree said...

I'll bet there was a very surprised fisherman somewhere out there...

Cafe Pasadena said...

MF, if only you were the only blogger to get away with shouting Penis in your blog.

gaelikaa said...

Isis is a favourite one of mine too. Dan Brown completely messed up in the Da Vinci code. He said that Isis was the consort of Amon, which was akin to sacrilege. Mind you, that comes easy to Dan brown by thelooks of things....

claire said...

I am very late catching this Goddess, Margaret, but what a great Goddess and a great story and GREAT telling. I am sure my daughter will love it. Whether her husband does, of this I am less sure.

Thank you so much for this. Wow. What a treat too!

Fantastic comments!

Word in the Hand said...

Isis is also the Goddess that many people think the Christian 'Mary, Mother of God' took over from in peoples minds( except, of course, Mary isn't a goddess at all)- their colours and emblems are very similar, her title Queen of Heaven is an Isis title.I guess for tenacity, faith and love she's a pretty good Goddess to look to as well as wind.
Wonderful telling of the story. Certainly memorable.