Womb Worship

Egyptian Scriptures

 

Welcome

Background

The Cosmic Mother

Womb Worship

Scriptures

The Way

Community

Practicalities

Links

Isis

In the beginning Isis was a protective mother goddess of birth, life and death, later transformed into the Highest of All with the Throne as Her symbol. Her worship flourished in Egypt for all of its three thousand years. Her faith eventually spread throughout the Near East and Mediterranean. In later Rome her cult became very important: the roads and ships of the Roman Empire carried Isis to ancient France, Germany and Britain. 

First the cult of Isis spread from Alexandria throughout the Hellenistic world after the 4th century BC. It appeared in Greece in combination with the cults of Horus, her son, and Serapis, the Greek name for Osiris. The Greek historian Herodotus identified Isis with Demeter, the Greek goddess of earth, agriculture, and fertility. Her cult was later introduced (86 BCE) into Rome and became one of the most popular branches of Roman religion. After the institution of Christianity, and the last remaining Egyptian temples to Isis were closed in the middle of the 6th century AD, leaving behind "secret knowledge" to Gnostic groups, leading to her revival in the form of the Madonna devotion - Black Virgin and the Shrine Madonna - respectively...

Hymns to Isis

(From the Temple of Isis at Philae--translations by Louis Zabkar in Hymns to Isis in Her Temple at Philae):

Praise to you, Isis, the Great One, God’s mother, Lady of Heaven, Mistress and Queen of the gods.

You are the First Royal Spouse of Wennefer/Osiris,

The Bull, The Lion who overthrows all his enemies, The Lord and ruler of eternity.

Praise to you, Isis, the Great One, God’s mother, Lady of Heaven, Mistress and Queen of the gods. 

You are the First Royal Spouse of Wennefer/Osiris,

One who protects her brother and watches over the weary-of heart.

Praise to you, Isis, the Great One, God’s mother, Lady of Heaven, Mistress and Queen of the gods.

O Isis, the Great, God’s mother, lady of Philae, God’s Wife, God’s Adorer and God’s Hand,

God’s mother and Great Royal Spouse, Adornment and Lady of the Ornaments of the Palace. 

Lady and desire of the green fields, Nursling who fills the palace with her beauty,

Fragrance of the palace, mistress of joy, Who completes her course in the Divine Place. 

Rain-cloud that makes green the fields when it descends, Maiden, sweet of love, Lady of Upper and Lower Egypt,

Who issues orders among the divine Ennead, According to whose command one rules.

Princess, great of praise, lady of charm, Whose face enjoys the trickling of fresh myrrh.

*

Isis, giver of life, residing in the Sacred Mound, Satis, Lady of Biggeh:

She is the one who pours out the Inundation That makes all people live and green plants grow,

Who provides divine offerings for the gods, And invocation-offerings for the Transfigured Ones.

Because she is lady of Heaven, Her spouse is Lord of the Netherworld,

Her son is Lord of the Land, Her spouse is the pure water, rejuvenating himself at Biggeh at his time.

She is lady of Heaven, Earth, and the Netherworld, Having brought them into existence through what her heart conceived and her hands created,

She is the Bai that is in every city, Watching over her son Horus and her brother Osiris.

*

May Isis come to her House to join her Image, Her radiance underlying the faces,

Like the radiance of Ra when he shows himself in the morning.

The female Horus, beloved of the Great Horus, Mother of Horus, created by Atum,

Great Royal Spouse, united with Ra, Who protects her brother Osiris.

Mistress of flame who assaults the rebels, Who slays Apep/Apophis in an instant,

Uraeus of Ra, the Coiled One upon his head, Who gives orders in the barque of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt.

From the Stela of Amenmose and the Great Hymn of Osiris:
translations in Ancient Egyptian Literature Vol II by Miriam Lichtheim

*

[Isis] served as his protector,drove off the enemies, put a stop to the misdeed;

Removed the Enemy by power of her spell—golden-tongued, her speech cannot fail, Skilled in command, beneficent Isis, who rescued her brother.

She searched for him, would not give in to her weariness,wandered about this land in mourning,

Would not take rest until she had found him.

She made him shade with her feathers, Made breeze by fanning her wings;

Danced the Dance of Last Mooring for her brother, Tempered the weakness of him who was weary of heart;

She received his seed, produced an heir; Brought up the child in solitude

          (the place could not be known);

Introduced him, with his arm grown sturdy, Into the court of Geb. 

*

BACK

2000 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema. All rights reserved.