The Egyptian goddess Isis and her various representations

by pierre

The Egyptian goddess Isis is little known to many people today, but without knowing it, they may worship her under one of her many representations.

Here is an excerpt from Bosc’s book “Isis Unveiled”, Ernest (link given below) a short summary of the importance of Isis in the history of humanity, its different representations.

“Isis is one of Egypt’s greatest myths, greater than RA perhaps, but in any case, prior to it.

According to Diodorus of Sicily, Isis means Ancient; Zyaus (Isis-Hindu), which means the ancient of days, and is symbolized in the monosyllable AUM.

It is the type spirit, the immortal germ, as Isis is the primordial Nature, the universal Matrix.

Since prehistoric times, Egypt has been monotheistic; but in this very high antiquity, the monotheism of the Good Goddess, as Isis is called, this monotheism is mitigated by the accession of the Apostles (in Egyptian Apap), the hideous serpent, whose evil influence Isis tamed, which he tried to exert on humans to balance the power of the Beneficial Goddess.

This bad influence is overcome, but not without resistance” which testifies to a certain power of the evil spirit.

This struggle introduces into Egyptian theodicy a ditheist element, which is still more or less veiled in all religions that have appeared on earth since the beginning of the world.

But Isis always ends up crushing the snake’s head; so does Myriam or Mary the Christian Virgin Mother.

The Apophis Snake

The Hindu Brahmanic religion, which is tritheistic (Brahma, Vishnu, Civa), ends up becoming ditheistic, since Brahma and Vishnu, uniting their creative and conservative strength, end up being right of Civa who strikes everything with destruction.

Their task accomplished, Brahma and Vishnu are now one and the same person; the one returning to Vishnu who had given him the being through the Lotus flower from his belly button.

Isis, Osiris’ wife and sister, after the struggle of Osiris and Set, managed to find and reunite the members of her husband’s brother.

Through her magical incantations, she recalled Osiris in her body, so he could rise again and become Horus, that is, son of Isis.

In this role, Isis is confused with Hathor and is represented sitting nursing her child.

It is from this role of resurrectress that her funeral functions derive; we see her, either crying Osiris, or at the foot of his sarcophagus, or covering with her Osiris wings, as a sign of protection.

A papyrus from the Berlin Museum published by M. J. de Horrach is only a kind of collection of the incantations recited by Isis and Nephthys (the two incubators, the two weeping women).

She helps her sister Isis in the task of bringing Osiris back to life.

It is Dr. Brugsch who has often drawn the attention of Egyptologists to this papyrus which bears the n*14*5 and which comes from the ruins of Thebes where it was discovered in a statue of Osiris.

It is no less than five metres long and forty centimetres high:

“It is divided into two distinct parts: the first, in hieroglyphic writing, contains two chapters from the Funeral Ritual; the second, which includes five pages of a beautiful hieratic writing from the late period (probably from the Ptolemy period), presents a curious document. »

It is a series of evocations and invocations, preceded by a preamble and ending with a final clause.

This, according to J. deHorrack, is the beginning of this beautiful evocation.

She says (Isis):

“Come to your house, come, O God An! Come to your home!

The enemies are no more. O excellent Sovereign!

Come to your house! Look at me. Look at me. I’m your sister who loves you!

Do not stop far from me, O handsome teenager.

Come to your home quickly, quickly. Don’t you see me?

My heart is in bitterness because of you;

my eyes are looking for you. I’m looking for you to see you.

Will I be late to see you, O excellent Sovereign?

Will I be late to see you? Seeing you is happiness.

Seeing you is happiness! O God An, to see you is happiness!

Come to the one who… loves you, come to the one who loves you.

O Ounnefer justified. Come to your sister, come to your wife, come to your wife!

Come to your wife, O Ourtet! Come to your wife, I am your sister through your mother.

Don’t separate from me.

Gods and men (turn) their faces towards you to mourn you.

All at once, since they saw me, pushing complaints (literally: calling you in tears) to the top of the sky; and you don’t hear my voice;

I am your sister who loves you on earth; no one else has loved you more than I (your) sister.”

The third page contains the evocation of Nephthys; the fourth page the evocation of Isis.

The fifth page, section III of the manuscript, contains this:

“The holy emanation that comes out of you makes the Gods and men, reptiles and quadrupeds, live by it”

Isis’ soul being supposed to reside in the Sirius Star.

The fifth page, section IV, contains the Invocation of Nephthys.

The fifth page, Section V, the Invocation of Isis.

Finally, the final clause is extremely remarkable for us; here it is:

“When this is recited, the place (where one is) is very greatly holy.

Let it not be seen or heard by anyone except the superior priest and the assistant.

Two beautiful women of their members having been brought, they are made to sit on the ground at the main door of the Usekh;

the names of Isis and Nephthys are written on their shoulders;

crystal vases (?) full of water are placed in their right hand, breads made in Memphis in their left hand.

Let them be attentive to things done at the third hour of the day and similarly at the eighth hour of the day.

Do not stop reciting this book at the time of the ceremony. – It’s over.”

Isis is also the symbol of the fertile earth and the image of the Rising Sun (Horus).

Here is how Apulia makes her define herself:

“I am the mother nature of all things, the mistress of the elements, the source and origin of the centuries, the sovereign of the deities, the queen of the males and the first of the inhabitants of the heavens.

I represent, in myself alone, all the gods and goddesses; I rule the brilliant vaults of the sky, the salutary winds of the sea and the sad silence of the underworld at will.

I am the only deity in the Universe that the whole earth reveres in many forms, with different ceremonies and under different names… I am called the mother of the Gods. »

An inscription from the temple of Sais defines us as Isis, it is the goddess herself who speaks:
“I am what has been, what is, what will be; and no mortal has lifted my veil.””


This inscription has been preserved for us by Plutarch.

Diodorus of Sicily tells us that a heifer was consecrated to Isis, because the useful fertility of the cow was considered one of the goddess’ benefits.

According to Lucien, it is assumed that this goddess presided over the Nile floods, inspired the winds and protected the navigators.

This role as protector of navigators also has a mystical meaning that a legend engraved on a sarcophagus of the Louvre Museum makes us understand, because it explains the meaning of the action of Isis and her sister Nepthys, who stretch swollen sails, symbol of vital breath.

Here is the translation of this legend:

“I come to you,” said Isis, “I am near you to breathe into your nostrils, to breathe in the breaths of the god Ammon, to rejoice in your breasts, to be deified; that your enemies may be under your sandals and that you may be justified in the heavenly abode. »

Representations of Isis are very frequent; they are painted or sculpted on monuments, or they are statuettes and figurines made of very diverse materials.

Isis is often depicted standing, but more usually sitting on a throne, nursing the young Horus:

Isis and Horus

It is crowned by a small throne which is the hieroglyphic sign of its name and which is also used to write the word Abode, which explains why Isis in her role as mother merges with Hathor, which means “dwelling of Horus”.

The symbolic hairstyle of the goddess is a disc with two cow horns, which has led some authors to wrongly assume that Isis was a deification of Diana, of the Moon, because they mistaken the solar disc for the lunar disc.

Isis and Osiris
Isis and Osiris

When the goddess is represented alone, she often stands upright, with her arms hanging or winged; she sometimes spreads her wings to cover the mummy of Osiris, at the time of the mystical operation, which must give her life back.

Other representations show Isis holding her hands at her forehead, as a sign of mourning, as she pronounces the spells of incantations that should bring Osiris back to life.

The cult of Isis had a character of purity, and chastity, which always exerted a great influence on the morality of Egyptian women, a beneficial influence that extended well beyond Egypt.

The feasts or Mysteries of Isis were celebrated at the winter solstice and had a funeral character to recall the death of Osiris; they were celebrated throughout Egypt, but it was mainly in Busiris that these mysteries had the most brilliance and solemnity.

We have just said that the cult of Isis extended its influence far beyond Egypt; indeed, it spread to Greece, Rome and even Gaul, but once outside Egypt, it soon degenerated and lost its character of original grandeur and simplicity.

The primitive cult considered Isis, as we have seen, as the great primordial Nature, emblem of the active spirit that crushed the serpent Apafiou Apophis, emblem of passive matter.

In foreign countries, Isis was in turn the personification of all the goddesses: Cerês, Cybèlé, Astarté, as she herself says:

“Athenians from their own country call me Minerva Cecropienaria.

Among the inhabitants of Cyprus, my name is Venus Paphos.

In the Candiotes, skilled at archery, Diane Dictime.

Among the Sicilians, who speak three languages, Proserpine Stigienne.

In the city of Eleusis, I am called the former goddess Ceres, others call me Juno, others Bellone, others Hecate, others Rhamnusian Nemesis;

and the Ethiopians, whom the sun at dawn illuminates with its first rays, the peoples of Ariadne, as well as the Egyptians who are the first scholars of the world, call me by my true name, Isis, and honor me with the ceremonies that are most fitting.”

These lines explain very well why, in the Greek and Latin inscriptions, the goddess received the nicknames given to the deities with whom she was confused.

Of all these nicknames, we will remember only one, that of Mater Salutaris, that is, Mother who gives health and refers to the medical character, which Isis had in Egypt, as well as Serapis;

so the goddess was consulted for the healing of diseases.

The sick went to his sanctuaries to spend the night and sleep there; the goddess showed herself in a dream to the sick and showed them the remedies they had to use to heal, this is what still happens today, only, instead of the name of Isis, the sanctuary bears that of Lourdes or La Salette.

We see that if names change, superstitions remain.

In short, the Isiac Theodicy is the mother, the generator of many modern religions, and Isianism has only succumbed to the hypocrisy and immorality of its priests, who have successively named themselves Cabires, Curetés, Corybantes, Bacchants, Dactyles, Galles, Métragyrtes, Druides, etc. Isianism did not definitively disappear until the end of the vi* century of the vulgar era.

Rome had erected many temples to the goddess; Pompeii still shows the debris of an Asiatic temple, ruined by the terrible eruption of August 29, 79.

Paris, the boat of Isis

We cannot conclude this chapter without adding that the city of Paris shows in its arms the Bari or sacred boat of Isis, adored by the Parisii, a name derived by syncope from BarMsis, the symbolic vessel of the good goddess.

What were the Parisii? A Celtic people from the borders of Belgium; their main town was originally named Lutetia Parisiiorum; the marshy city of the worshippers of the Bari or sacred boat of Isis.

The Parisii were probably a nomadic branch of these Sueves, of which Tacitus tells us, and who worshipped Isis in the symbolic form of a ship:

“Some of the Sueves,” said the author, “sacrifice to Isis.

What is the cause and origin of this foreign cult?

I could not know, except that the very image of the goddess, depicted by a ship, seems to be a religion brought by sea.

Moreover, do not hold the gods enclosed within the walls and do not lend them any of man’s conforming features, seems to them to be more in conformity with the greatness of the divinities.”

This ship, as we know, was the sacred Bari of the Egyptian gods, but more particularly the sacred boat of Isis, which floats and cannot be submerged (fluctuat nec mergitur) in the arms of the city of Paris.

Grandes Armes de Paris
Great Weapons of Paris

Clovis, founder of the church of Sainte-Geneviève, probably built on the ruins of a temple of Isis, gave this church a portion of the property of the priests of Isis or the territory located between Mount Leucotius (Montagne Sainte-Geneviève) and the village of Issy, alteration of the name of Isis by repeating an S.

The rest of the territory was given by Childebert to the Abbey, which today bears the name of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

In 1514, the figure of the goddess Isis was seen in the church of this Abbey, but Cardinal Briçônnet broke it, because the people still worshipped it.

The sacred Ark of Isis gave the idea to the Hebrews to carry their Jehovah in an ark when they came out of Egypt, and the God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob, had no other temple until the day when the Hebrews’ establishment in Palestine allowed them to build one in Jerusalem.

They therefore did, in this, like the Aryas emigrants who colonized Egypt 6,000 years before the vulgar era; they had transported the good goddess Isis by sea in a Bari to the Nile delta, where they erected the famous temple of Sais.

See also:

The belief in one God in ancient Egypt, the teaching of Hermes

The real secret of Tutankhamun finally revealed

Source: Isis revealed

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Amélie 21 April 2020 - 17 h 39 min

Sur l’image ce n’est pas Isis mais bel et bien Maât déesse de la justice, vérité, prospérité et harmonie cosmique. Isis et Maât se ressemblent fortement, mais Isis a une coiffe orné du disque solaire tandis que Maât comme sur la photo elle a une coiffe orné d’une plume.

pierre 25 April 2020 - 4 h 24 min

Merci Amélie, oui effectivement, avec la plume c’est Maât.
Les dix commandements et la loi de Maât, similitude entre les textes égyptiens et la Bible


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