Isis & Osiris

In ancient Egypt Isis was among the oldest of the goddesses, the mother and giver of all life. A moon goddess, she gives birth to the sun, creates and sustains all life, and is the savior all people. The teacher of agriculture, she is also the goddess of medicine and wisdom

Osiris was her brother and husband. When Osiris was murdered by his brother Set, Isis searched for and found him, revived him, and conceived their son, Horus. When Set again took Osiris and scattered his body in fourteen pieces, Isis hunted down each piece, except for his reproductive organs, which she was unable to locate, in order to give each piece a proper burial.

Isis is the universal goddess, representing total femininity. She can overcome death itself, yet she is not above grief: one of her tears, wept when Osiris was dying, caused the Nile River to flood. She underscores the depths of emotion that even a goddess must feel.


Ishtar: Babylonian
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Ix Chel: Maya
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Ⓒ The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (illustration)
Ⓒ Text copyright Michael Babcock