Celebrating Isis, The Great Mother Goddess
Updated: Mar 26
When we opened under the name The Isis Institute of Integrated Healing Arts in July of 2001, we never really imagined how strongly The Great Mother Isis would influence us. Isis quickly became a grounding force within the walls of our healing rooms, influencing our lives and our healing practices, and shaping our interaction with the community through The Isis Scrolls.
Now that I look back and reflect I can see how Her story has woven itself through all areas of my life. She has become so much more than a name that I work under, She has become the Energy or the Perspective that I have immersed myself in and it is reflected through out my life. (I will be sharing more about this in an upcoming issue of the Isis Scrolls.)
Examined from a metaphoric/archetypical perspective, I can also see that though out the years, the Isis Scrolls has attempted to collect the wisdom of the local healers much as Isis collected each valuable piece of Osiris. We created a format that brings these healers and healing places alive for our community. So wherever you are on your healing journey (the journey of Isis and Osiris) you have the tools and information necessary to choose the practitioner that resonates with your soul. You can creatively empower yourself (you are Isis) and become aware of the magic within, growing beyond your limitations; transforming your life; giving birth to your metaphoric Horus, which is your wholeness. Wholeness is a state of awakened rememberance of our core essence in our daily lives.
Sharing Isis Though Her Story
My Name is Isis-
I am one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt.
I am associated with motherhood, marriage, love, sexuality, health, healing, immortality and magic.
From before 3000 B.C. until well into the second. century, the Egyptians worshiped Isis (eye-sis) as the Great Mother Goddess of the Universe. (She was also worshiped in the Roman Empire, Greece and Germany). In Egypt She was considered the source of all life, nurturer and sustainer of fertile soil, seeds (renewable abundance), water, medicine, weaving, architecture, magical wisdom, language, the arts, marriage and childbirth.
When the Egyptians gazed into the night sky, they saw Isis in the star Sirius, or as they called it Sothis. This is the brightest star in the Canis Major constellation. Isis was actually named Au Set by Her people, the Greeks later translated the name to Isis.
Isis is often pictured with either a throne which denotes Her majestic position, or a disk nestled between two cow horns upon Her head. The horns are representative of the sacred celestial cow, which provides the milk of life. The disk associates Her with the sun. She is seen as the Mother of the sun. She is also shown with the cobra, Ua Zit, on her forehead. Ua Zit is the wise Goddess who assisted Isis in giving birth to Her son the Falcon God Horus.
As the legend begins, the elegant Mistress of Heaven, Nuit, Nu or Nut (who is pictured naked and arched over the Earth) and Geb the Earth God came together and gave birth to Isis, Her sister Nephthys, and two brothers Osiris and Set.
When Osiris was born a great voice was heard at the temple crying that the Lord of All was entering into the light. His name was As-Ar or Us-Ar and He was identified with the constellation of Orion the Hunter.
Eventually they were married off in royal pairs, Set to Nephthys and Osiris to Isis. Isis and Her husband/brother Osiris were very much in love and content with their life. It is said that they fell deeply in love with each other while in Nuit’s womb. Together they ruled in peace and light. This enraged their brother Set who was jealous and unhappy to begin with. He sought to destroy them and thus murdered Osiris, tricking him by sealing him in a wooden coffin and sending him drifting down the river, which led out to the Great Sea.
When Isis heard of the news, She began the long journey to retrieve Osiris’ body which had become ensnarled in a tamarisk tree in Byblos, Syria.
Isis returned home with Her husband's body and hid it on the Isle of Chemmis, in the Delta, but before She could honor Him with a proper burial, Set stole Osiris and chopped him up into fourteen pieces, scattering them along the Nile.
Isis, grieving, devoted and determined, floated on a barge along the Nile, retrieving each piece of Her beloved. The only part not found was Osiris' penis, for it was rumored to have been fed to the fish by Set. Undeterred, Isis fashioned a penis of gold and breathed the breath of life into Osiris' heart. Using Her magical powers, Isis fanned Him with Her holy wings, and with the strength of Her love she brought Him back to life (re-membered Him), conceiving a child with Him.
The reborn Osiris could have reclaimed His throne, but He preferred to maintain His kingdom in the Land of the Dead, which was not some dark and dismal place, but one of light and love. From here He could help mediate the divine energies between the underworld and the earth realm. He is the quintensesstial Sacrificial King.
Isis subsequently gave birth to Horus, “The Great One” whose eyes were the sun and the moon, who was considered the Savior who would bring light and love upon the earth and subdue the malicious forces represented by Set. Sound familiar?
Isis ruled with Her son Horus on Her holy lap. When the temples of Isis were turned into Christian churches, Isis with baby Horus on her lap became The Virgin Mary, and Her son, Jesus.
Isis serves as an example of the nurturing aspects of wife and mother as well as magical wisdom. You can honor Her by spreading your wings (arms) open wide in a gesture of awakening and receptivity, counting your blessings and remaining open to the abundance the Universe is offering.
*In 2005 we changed our name to “The Isis Osiris Healing Temple” to honor the divine masculine frequency as well as the divine feminine and bring balance to ourselves and our healing space. The energetic shifts we have made since inviting in this energy have been liberating.