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Illustrated Guide to Mythology

Egyptian Mythology


Isis


Isis is the goddess of fertility, magic, and health. She is known as the Queen of the Gods, and the Mother of Pharaohs. She is depicted in several different ways, but commonly she wears a vulture headdress or a crown with horns and a sun disk, and kite feathers.

Isis
Isis

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Isis was wildly popular in ancient Egypt. Women desperate for children prayed to her for fertility, people turned to her for magic spells, and many prayed to her for healing and good health. At one point, it is believed that she is the only god that the entirety of Egypt worshiped, unlike the other gods who had many different names or incarnations.

Isis was the daughter of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky), and she married her brother Osiris. Together, the two deities brought much prosperity to the kingdom of Egypt. Nephthys, their brother Set’s wife, disguised herself one night as Isis and got Osiris to sleep with her, making her pregnant with Anubis. This betrayal, coupled with Set’s jealousy of Osiris and Isis’ success, encouraged Set to drown his brother in a coffin in the Nile. After the murder, Set cut Osiris into several pieces and scattered them throughout the world so that Isis would not be able to use any magic to bring him back.

Isis, with the help of Thoth, recovered the pieces of Osiris’ body. Then, Isis went to Ra and demanded to know his secret name which held incredible power. After taking Ra’s saliva and mixing it with clay to create a vicious serpent, she sent it to Ra to bite him, and only agreed to heal him if he revealed his secret name. She used this power to resurrect Osiris long enough to be impregnated by him. She gave birth to Horus and hid him from his uncle until he was old enough to avenge his father’s death and unite the kingdoms of Lower and Upper Egypt.

Isis Quick Reference

Parents

Geb and Nut


Power / Domain

  • Fertility
  • Magic
  • Health
  • Queen of the Gods
  • Mother of Pharaohs

Symbols / Attributes

  • crown with horns and sun disk
  • kite feathers
  • throne headdress

Notable Myths

  • Ra's secret name
  • Resurrection of Osiris
  • Birth of Horus


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