In ancient Egyptian mythology, Isis is a goddess who is well known and highly prominent within the pages of this part of history. When it comes to worship, she is one of the main characters that ancient Egyptians would look towards, as she represented the archetypal wife and mother. Her place in the culture was illustrated by her position as wife and sister of Osiris, and mother to Horus. In another article, we will briefly mention a few key players in her family tree.
Even Isis’ name is regal, as it literally translates into “(female) of throne” , “Queen of the throne.” In illustrations of the queen, she is often seen wearing an emblem about her head that looks like a throne. Her name and presence may have also been used as a hieroglyph and symbol of the deified queens throughout history. Isis was married to Osiris, who ruled the throne of Egypt. In mythology, he was also the brother of Isis, which was not uncommon in the myths.
Throughout time, Isis has been looked upon as being the perfect wife and part of her characteristics as a goddess was seen as the embodiment of nurturing love and magic. A story involving Isis emerges when a jealous Seth (her brother) killed Osiris and deposited his body into the Nile. There was no simple mourning of her husband, but instead , she moved all of the forces of nature to retrieve his body of her husband where it had traveled to in Byblos.
Unfortunately, as Isis and her sister, Nepthys got ready for the ceremonial burial of Osiris, it was Seth who reappeared and stole the body. He later chopped it into 14 pieces. All over Egypt, Isis searched for her husband and with the help of Anubis (the god of the dead), they were able to locate all pieces except for one that she was able to recreate and attach to her husband’s body. This is one of the reasons that Isis is looked upon as possessing great skills in the magic department.
Another myth states that she used her magic to form wings and she was transformed into a desert kite that circled the sky , pining over the death of Osiris. The wings that the wind created actually breathed life into the body of the deceased Osiris. At this time, she went to her husband and at that moment, they conceived a child that they named Horus. Instead of enjoying her son, she grew fearful that Seth would attempt to find her baby and cause him harm, so she said goodbye to her husband.
Osiris fell to the Netherworld and became its ruler and Isis traveled to the countryside to give birth to Horus and hide him in the marshes of papyrus. During this time, Isis guarded her son from the natural elements and other dangers (in particular, her brother). Until he grew older and stronger, she would also keep him from other predators and especially snakes. After this, all other kings were the incarnation of Horus and would look to Isis for protection. She became the picture of ultimate royalty. Kings also acknowledged her ties to Osiris (the deceased kings of Egypt) and looked upon her powers of magic and love because of her associations with the living Pharaoh.