Au Set of the winged arms, was born in Nubia along the Nile swamps on the first day of creation. It was the colonizing Greeks that altered the pronunciation to yield the now-familiar Isis, first daughter of the overarching sky Goddess Nuit , and the earth God Geb. Her worship would span generations and spread from Alexandria to all the Mediterranean countries reaching its peak in the third century BC. Its decline would come with the church and Christianity, the last Egyptian temples closing around 550 AD.
Like Ishtar (of whom a similar tale of loss and restoration was told), Isis took on the identities of lesser Goddesses until she was revered as the universal goddess, the total femininity of whom other Goddesses represented only isolated aspects.
She is mourning wife and tender sister; she is the culture-bringer and health-giver.
She is Hathor Goddess of pleasures.
She is Ament mother of the sun.
She is also Meri, Goddess of the sea, and Sochit of the "cornfield”.
As the light-giver of the seasons She is Khut.
As the mighty Earth Goddess She is Usert.
As the Great Goddess of the Underworld She is Thenenet.
As the flood waters of the Nile, She is Sati, and Sept.
As the Water Goddess She is Anqet.
As Goddess of life She is Ankhet.
As the Goddess of cultivated lands and fields She is Sekhet.
As the Goddess of the harvest She is Renenet.
As the Goddess of the food offered to the gods, She is Tcheft, and lives in the Temple of Tchefau.
She is everlastingly, the Blessed Goddess who promises: "You shall live in blessing, you shall live glorious in my protection; and when you have fulfilled your allotted span of life and descend to the underworld, there too you shall see me, as you see me now, shining ... And if you show yourself obedient to my divinity ... you will know that I alone have permitted you to extend your life beyond the time allocated you by your destiny."
As the Goddess of Magick, myths of Isis put her in competition with her brother the sun god Ra. Determined to poses His power Isis created a snake and sent it to bite Ra. Sick and growing weaker, he called for Isis to heal the wound. Isis claimed to be powerless to purge the poison unless she knew the god's secret name, his name of power, and his very essence. In desperation he whispered his name to Her. Isis cured him, but Ra had paid the price of giving Her eternal power over him. (A like tale was told of Lilith and Jehovah.)
In the most common of myths about Goddess Isis She was married to her brother Osiris, the god of grain. Their brother Seth, the red-haired God of chaos and the desert, was jealous and devised a plot to be rid of him. At a great feast Seth tricked Osiris into lying down in a coffin disguised as a beautifully crafted box., which was then nailed shut and thrown into the Nile. Goddess Isis searched and searched for Her husband, finally finding Him and returning him to Egypt where Seth again attacked him. In jealous anger Seth violently cut Orisis’s body into thirteen pieces and scattered them to different parts of the Earth.
Goddess Isis once again prevailed in searching and finding Her lost lover, all but his penis which She substituted a piece of shaped gold. With the aide of Anubis, the god of the dead, Orisis was reassembled and embalmed, wrapped in linen he was magically restored to life beginning the tradition of mummification. The death and resurrection of Osiris were celebrated throughout Egypt with rites of mourning and rejoicing. However in the Egyptian legend Osiris remained in the Underworld to preside as King granting passage through mummification to the dead and granting eternal life but not before Goddess Isis magically conceived a child through the golden phallus of the revived Osiris, that child was the sun god Horus. It is thought the statues of Isis suckling the child Horus became the basis for statues of the Virgin Mary with Jesus on Her lap.
Also noted that in some versions of this myth, a tale similar to Demeter's posing as a nanny to the child of a queen is also added to the journey and search of Isis.
As Women and Witches we recognize Goddess Isis as a Goddess who embodies strength, endurance, loyalty, devotion, power, passion and love. She isdaughter, mother, sister, lover, wife, friend, companion, and able adversary, holding strong in time of trouble, believing in herself, in those she loves, and in the ultimate justice of natural law.
As Women and Witches we recognize Goddess Isis as a reflection of all we are capable of when we grant the Divine essence of Goddess in self to be what directs us in our personal and magickal lives. An unstoppable force of power manifested from the wisdom of our choices. The Defender of our Holy Self, the Mother of Self, the one and only Goddess of self. It is only when we accept this that we truly embrace the Goddess Isis within. Any less is denial.
Tonight as circle of women sharing sacred space we seek to invoke and embrace these attributes of self. As maiden, mother and crone we gather in praise of Goddess Isis.