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Isis

Great Goddess; universal mother goddess.  (stone seat)
Jupiter / Moon / New Moon / Full Moon / Setting Moon / Saturn / Venus / Uranus/
Sun / Rising Sun / Earth / Water / Air / Fire / South / West / North / East / Day/ Spring / Aquarius / Taurus / Cancer / Virgo / Libra / Scorpio / Sagittarius
(African: Egyptian)

Isis rules life, magic, fate, civilization, spells, motherhood, maternal love, Nature, Egypt (especially the Nile Delta and the city of Alexandria), growth, decline, decay, regeneration, spirituality, laws, wind, rivers, sleep, dreams, serpents, daytime, moisture, storms, thunder, lightning, secrets, initiation, agriculture, orchards, cycles, war, peace, necessity, navigation, seaports, anchors, sea breezes, the sea, the heavens, outer space, stars (especially the northern constellations), material reality, solid form, the year, conjugal love, household arts, writing implements, medical schools, the Mysteries, and human affairs. She also rules mooring poles, travel by sea, Words of Power, breeze from the North, the breath of life, the crashing of waves, the sprouting of seeds, the unfurling of leaves, the opening of flowers, the waning and waxing of the Moon, the ebb and flow of tides, the cresting and flooding of rivers, and the entire Universe. Isis is the matron of widows, single mothers, and travelers.

Aset, the Egyptian name of Isis, is also spelled Ast, Au Set, Auzit, and Eset. Isis (also spelled Ysis), the Greek version of her name, is pronounced ëee-seesí in modern Egypt. In various places, at different times in history, and in various languages, Isis has also been known as Aat, Isis Ament or Amenti (The Hidden One), Anqet or Ankhet, Ant, Esa, Esi, Hermouthis, Hert or Hurt, Hetet, Isermuthis, Isis Sochit, Isisothis, Khut (star goddess aspect), Menhet or Menkhet, Mersekhen, Neb-tept, Renenet (harvest goddess aspect), Renpet, Sati or Sept (Innundation goddess aspect), Sekhet (agriculture goddess aspect), Shetat, That, Tchetut, Thenenet or Tcheft (Underworld goddess aspect), Thermuthis, Unt, and Usert (Earth goddess aspect).
 Isis has many titles because she has so many aspects. Some of her titles refer to this plethora, such as Goddess of Many Names, Lady Rich of Names, She of a Thousand Names, and Isis of Ten Thousand Names. She is also called Isis Myrionymos (Isis of the Myriad Names), Pluonumos (Isis of the Many Names), and Polyonymos (The Many-Named). Other titles of Isis include Great Goddess, The Great Lady, The Divine One, The Only One, Mother of the Universe, Oldest of the Old, First Offspring of Time, Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Universe, The Mighty Lady, Mistress of All Things Forever, Lady of Eternity, Ruler of the World, God-Mother, Parent of Things, All-hearing, All-seeing, Mistress of the World, Mother of God, Mother of the Gods, The One Who is All, Panthea (All Goddess), Isis Panthea, Most Great, Most Mighty One, Queen of the Gods, Greatest of the Gods, Highest of Deities, Goddess of All Goddesses, Greatest of the Gods and Goddesses, Foremost of Heavenly Beings, and Most Exalted of the Deities.
 Some of her titles refer to her relationships with other gods and goddesses. Often contradictory, these include Daughter of Seb, Daughter of Geb, Child of Nut, Daughter of Thoth, Mother of the Apis Bull, The Female Ra, Wife of Ra, Eye of Ra, The Crown of Ra Heru, The Female Horus, Mother of Horus (or Heru), God-Mother of Heru-ka-nekht, and Mother of the Horus of Gold. Titles which refer to her consort Osiris include Bride of God, Wife of the Lord of the Inundation, Beloved of Osiris, and Wife of the Lord of the Abyss.

Isis has titles which refer to her appearance, such as The Beautiful Goddess, Lady of Beauty, Of Beautiful Form, Nepherses (the beautiful), Many-formed, Lady of Hair, and Lotus-Bearing. Titles which refer to her apparel include Linen-garbed, Linopeplos (wearing linen garments), Lady in Red, Lady of the Red Apparel, and Black-robed Isis. She also has many other titles which refer to her various aspects.
 As an agricultural goddess, Isis can be invoked as Mother of Wheat, Mistress of Bread, Lady of Beer, Lady of Wine, Lady of Bees, Lady of the House of Bees, Lady of Green Crops, Mother of the Ears of Corn, Fructifier, Creatrix of the Green Crop, or She Who Has Given Birth to the Fruits of the Earth. In her aspect as a Dark Goddess, Isis may be invoked as Terrible One, Breaker in Pieces, Queen of War, or Lady of War and Rule.

Titles of Isis as the goddess of Egypt include Queen of Egypt, Lady of the Two Lands, Lady of the Pyramid, Maker of Kings, Maker of Monarchs, Lady of the Great House, The Throne, The Stone Seat, and Hent (queen). As goddess of the wonderful lighthouse which once stood in Alexandria, she is called Pharia and Lofty Pharos of Light.

Isis, Sovereign of the Elements, Mistress of All the Elements, is such a universal goddess that she has aspects which correspond to each element. For Earth, invoke Isis as Usert, Queen of the Earth, Mistress of the Earth, Isis of the Earth, Lady of Solid Earth, Queen of the Solid Earth, Lady of the Land, Lady of the Land Matter, Goddess of Green Things, or Lady of the Green Plants. For Air, invoke Isis as Queen of Winds, Lady of the North Wind, Mistress of the Sky, or Mother in the Horizon of Heaven. She can also be invoked as Winged Isis or Isis Petrophoros, Isis Euploia (Giver of Good Sailing), and Isis-Tyche, Jewel of the Wind. For Fire, invoke Isis as Lady of Flame, Lady of the House of Fire, Fire-Lover, Lady of Warmth, or Fire, and Lady of the Chariot of Fire. For Water, invoke her as Goddess of Moisture, Lady of Moisture, Queen of Rivers, Lady of the Mouths of Seas and Rivers, Master of Rainstorms, Creatrix of the Nile Flood, or Anquet, Anqet, or Ankhet, Embracer of the Land.

As a goddess of the Moon, Isis may be invoked as Isis Selene, She of the Moon, or She of Green Wings and Crescent Moon. Invoke her as Goddess Fifteen for the Full Moon. To invoke her mother goddess aspect, call upon Isis as God-Mother, Holy Mother, Divine Mother, World Mother, All-receiving, Giver of Life, Hearer of Prayers, Great Cow, The Gentle, The Merciful, and Isis Lactans or Galactotrouphousa (breast-feeding aspect).

In her nature goddess aspect, Isis may be invoked as Nature, Female Principle of Nature, Green Goddess, Lady of Herbs, Lady of Green Herbs, or The Green One, whose greenness is like the greenness of the Earth. In her sea goddess aspect, she may be invokes as Queen of the Sea, Isis of the Sea, Queen of Seamanship, Stella Maris (star of the sea), Isis Pelagia, Isis Navigum, Isis Euploia, Salvatrix of Sailors, and Meri, Lady of the Sea.

In her solar goddess aspect, Isis may be invoked as Light Giver, Light-giver of Heaven, Lady of Light, Shining One, Maker of the Sunrise, Mistress of the Dawn, Goddess of the Rosy Dawn, Ray of the Sun, or Name of the Sun. Her metal is gold in this aspect. For her aspect as underworld goddess, invoke Isis as Queen of the Dead, Queen of the Underworld, Great Goddess of the Underworld, Mistress of Eternity, Mistress of the Tomb, Benefactress of the Tuat, or Destroyer of the Souls of Men. As goddess of the year, Isis may be invoked as Lady of the New Year and Sept, Opener of the Year.

Other titles of Isis include Holy One, Holy Blessed Lady, Lady Isis, Queen Isis, The All-Goddess, Lady of Every Country, Intervening Power, Creation, Creatrix, Dynamis, Dynastis, One Above Fate, Dea ex Machina, Glorious Goddess, The Eternal Woman, Lady of Joy, Lady of Thunder, Queen of the Thunderbolt, and Mistress of the Evening Star. In Egypt Isis was combined with other goddesses as Isis-Hathor, Isis-Selket, and Isis-Nekhbet. In other lands she became syncretied with local goddesses as Isis Astarte, Isis-Inanna, Isis-Aphrodite, Isis-Aphrodite-Astarte, Isis-Diana, Isis-Fortuna, Isis-Nike, and so on.

Isis has been depicted in a variety of ways throughout history. As a human she is shown in ordinary dress, but with the  uraeus over her forehead. As goddess, she is often portrayed as a winged woman. Sometimes she is depicted with black or golden skin. Isis is often shown wearing a simple linen sheath, or a diaphanous gown. She may carry an ankh, a lotus staff, papyrus staff, or a staff with a head of the god Set on it to show her power over evil.

There are several crowns and headdresses which Isis wears. These include a vulture headdress, the crown with disk and horns, the crown of the empty throne, which symbolizes her rule as regent until her son takes his fatherís place as pharaoh, and the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, with ram horns or feather of Maíat. Isis has also been depicted with her wings around Osiris, or standing near the throne, and as Madonna with Child, breast feeding Horus or the pharaoh. She also takes the form of a bird, or of a serpent.
 Red, blue, sky blue, and white are the colors of Isis. Black is her color when she mourns or searches for Osiris. Carnelian and lapis lazuli are her stones. Silver is her metal.  The symbols of Isis include ankh, scorpion, kite (bird), empty throne, ships, sail, anchor, sistrum, uraeus, blood, cow horns or crescent Moon, and the tyet, the Isis knot. In the Greco-Roman world Isis was depicted with symbols such as sistrum, vase, cornucopia, and shipís rudder. Her sacred plants include barley, every type of grain, heather, laurel, flax/linen, lotus, madonna lily, myrrh, onion, rose, iris/orris root, vervain, and wheat. Her sacred trees include the date palm, fir, palm, and sycamore. Every kind of fruit that grows on trees, including dates and coconuts, are also sacred to her.

Sacred animals of Isis include the cow, ape, cat, dog, scorpion, cobra, all serpents, and every kind of cattle. The goose, hawk, kite, eagle, falcon, vulture, and swallow are her sacred birds. Sirius, the Dog Star, was called called Sept, Sepdet, and Sothis by Egyptians. This is the prime star of Isis, and the place where her soul was sometimes considered to reside.

Isis is a benevolent goddess who answers prayers. Invoke her for assistance, blessings, abundance, happiness, serenity, joy, peace, love, truth, passion, rain, romance, courage, friendship, freedom, kindness, regeneration, healing, protection, fertility, solace, strength, mercy, inspiration, prosperity, justice, rescue, wealth, deliverance, uncrossing, good fortune, bright beginnings, strength in adversity, a pleasant life, a healthy relationship, and help making it through your darkest hours and most troubled times.

She is a complex goddess who may also be invoked for things as diverse as magic, spells, witchcraft, knowledge, desire,  incantations, illumination, destiny, motherhood, creation, advocacy, ambition, creation, survival, resourcefulness, leadership, dedication, determination, persistence, independence, cleverness, rulership, regency, forgiveness, alchemy, transmutation, adoption, battle, maternal love, conjugal love, tough love, erotic love, lunar magic, self-reliance, shape shifting, love spells, astral projection, weather magic, fire spells, complementary medicine, elemental magic, eternal life, image magic, spiritual transformation, sleep spells, dream magic, healing dreams, positive energy, political adroitness, single motherhood, Trickster-energy, protection during sleep, arbitration between lovers, female sexual aggressiveness, the power of love over death, safe passage through crocodile-infested waters, and strength of tongue, to correctly pronounce words of power.

Isis can also be invoked for binding, remembering, grieving, mourning, farming, weaving, spinning, protecting children, destroying evil, keeping house, averting demons, calling winds, finding allies, making alliances, altering fate, uncovering secrets, forging weapons, meeting challenges, grinding grain, overcoming infertility, protecting the dead, remembering dreams, protecting Egypt, honoring parents, overthrowing tyrants, vanquishing darkness or chaos, ending cannibalism, curing disease, altering fate, escaping confinement, transcending boundaries, walking between worlds, preventing or prosecuting child abuse, protecting against snakebite, blessing a new baby, overcoming grief or sorrow, creating sacred space, making marriage contracts, raising a foster child, making and using charms, conceiving a child by means of magic, ensuring that criminals and wrongdoers pay for their actions, training a child for public life, saving a childís life, changing the direction in which your life seems headed, seeing that right triumphs over wrong, ensuring that oaths are honored, calming or stirring the sea, revealing or concealing religious mysteries, embracing or activating the potential of a new day, connecting with universal energy or the universal consciousness, making positive changes in yourself or your life,  and successfully navigating troubled waters, be they physical or metaphysical.

Invoke her as Isis Ament or Amenti, The Hidden One, for life after death, or for keeping oneís true religion a secret. Invoke her as Isis Anquet, Anqet or Ankhet to activate the fertilizing power of water. She can also be invoked by specific names and titles for different kinds of spells and rituals. For blessings, invoke Isis as All-bounteous, Hearer of Prayers, or Bestower of Good Things. Invoke her as the Divine Midwife for the safe delivery of a baby.

For creativity, Isis can be invoked as The One Who Creates, Inventrix, Inventor of All Things, or Leader of the Muses. For healing she can be invoked as Great Physician, Nurse, Great Sorceress Who Heals, Isis Medica, Menouthis (Wound Mender), or Medicina Mundi (the power that heals the world). Invoke her as Leader of the Muses for inspiration. Isis can be invoked as Dikaiosyne, Justicia, or Mistress of Righteousness, for justice.

For love, Isis can be invoked as Lady of Love, Conquerer of Hearts, Goddess of Love and Magic, and Goddess of Romance. For magic, invoke her as Mistress of Magic, Lady of Spells, Great Magician, Lady of Words of Power, Great Enchantress, Mighty One of Enchantments, Isis Heqet, Urt-hekau (rich in spells), and Witch in the Stone Boat. Invoke her as Lady of the Shuttle for knot magic, and as Ament or Amenti, The Hidden One, for cloaking. Invoke her as Isis-Hathor, or as Isis Shentet, Isis in the Bedchamber, for sex magic.
 For peace, invoke Isis as Isis as Lady of Peace, or Placidae Reginae (queen of peace). For prosperity, she can be invoked as Lady of Abundance, Cornucopia of All Our Goods, or Isis Ploutodotai, Giver of Riches. For protection, invoke Isis as Guardian, or as Dispeller of Attack. Invoke her as Pelagia to protects ships and shipping. Invoke her as Isis Victrix, Ever Victorious, or Isis-Nike, for victory. Invoke Isis as Phronesis  for wisdom.

The prime magical charm of Isis is the tyet amulet, which is shaped like a knotted loop with tassels. It has also been called the thet, Isis knot, buckle of Isis, and blood of Isis. The amulet  is said by some to represent the tie on her girdle, but others say that it symbolizes her menstrual pad, and represents the magical power of menstrual blood. This is the spell that was used to empower the amulet: ìThe blood of Isis, and the strength of Isis, and the Words  of Power of Isis shall be mighty to act as powers and protect  me. They shall prevent wrong from being done to me." Ancient Egyptians sometimes fashioned the it of gold but the tyet amulet was usually red, made of red glass or of red stone, such as  carnelian or jasper. It was consecrated by steeping it overnight in flower-water, and then empowered by reciting the spell over it.  The tyet can be worn or carried for protection, to avert the evil eye, to guard yourself eternally against every kind of evil, or to enable you to move freely in the afterlife.

Dance and music have always been used for the invocation of Isis. In Egypt she was invoked with the music of cymbals, finger-cymbals, tambourines, bells, and the sistrum. The music of the lyre, flute, pipe and cithara were used to invoke her during the Ptolemaic era, and in places her worship spread beyond Egypt.  Appropriate ritual clothing for her invocation includse white garments, especially those made from linen, and the the Veil of the Universe, a veil that is studded with beads, sequins, crystals, or anything else that can be used to represent stars. Replicas of her various crowns could also be worn for her rituals or invocation. In ancient Egypt the priests of Isis wore linen kilts and robes. Her priestesses dressed in black for her somber rites. They otherwise wore white, or brightly colored robes which sometimes had lavishly embroidered hems. Outside of Egypt, priestesses of Isis wore translucent multi-colored veils and gowns. Tcherau-ur was the Egyptian title for a priestess who represented Isis in rituals. The physician priests and priestesses of Isis were called pastophors during the Greco-Roman era. Iseums, the temples of Isis, traditionally housed many cats.

Isis manifests in sea mist, sunlight, and moonlight. She can be invoked anywhere and at any time, but beaches and the mouths of streams and rivers, places where they join the sea, are considered power sites for her invocation. Dawn, noon, sunset and midnight are all powerful times for her invocation, but some say that she is best invoked at dawn, in the presence of a breeze from the North. Invoke her lunar aspect at night, especially in moonlight. Invoke her solar aspect during the day, especially in sunshine. Her sea goddess aspect is most powerfully invoked near the sea. Evoke her presence into yourself with the Drawing Down the Moon ritual, or by physically celebrating the ritual of the sacred marriage of Isis and Osiris with another witch.

Traditional offerings to Isis include music, dancing, incense, especially myrrh, flowers, honey, crescent-shaped cakes or rolls, fruit grown on trees, dark sweet wine, and libations of milk, wine, or rosewater. Other ways to honor Isis include asperging with salt and water, anointing her image or presenting it with offerings, and singing or chanting her names, titles, or praises.
The Isian Year

Whether held in various parts of Egypt, or in the European  countries to which the worship of Isis spread, Isis has been honored through the millennia with many different feast days. January 2, the Advent of Isis, celebrates the coming of Isis from Phoenicia to Egypt with the Ark of Osiris.

The Greco-Roman festival of Ploiaphesia, also called Isidis Navigum, the Festival of the Ship of Isis, celebrates Isis as sea goddess and as the goddess of navigation. Ships were dedicated to Isis during the festival, to place them under her protection. Romans celebrated Isidis Navigum on January 5-6, but March 5 is said to have been the original date of the festival. When held in March, it was also a Spring festival of Isis as Mother of the Season. Isidis Navigum was traditionally celebrated with lights, music, mirrors, flower garlands, perfume, balsam, carnival, and torch-lit processions. It can also be celebrated by going sailing, carrying garlands of roses to the sea, pouring libations of milk into the sea, dedicating a ship to Isis, or making and launching a small votive boat in honor of Isis.

May 14 is the Panegyric of Isis. It honors black-robed Isis the Merciful. The Panegyric is a time to meditate on the many gifts that Isis has bestowed upon humans. Offerings, such as   libations of rosewater, milk, or wine), and oblations such as bread and wine or cakes and ale, are traditionally made to Isis at this time.
 May 16 is the Festival of Isis as Giver of Life. May 17 is a day to mark the Sorrows of Isis, when her tears were said to cause the Nile to begin to rise. Leylet el-Nukhtah, Night of the Teardrop of Isis, is also celebrated on June 14.

June 23 celebrates the Rites of Isis and Osiris. July 26 was a time out of time in ancient Egypt, the start of the epagomenal days. This was considered very powerful day for magic and divination, as workings done at this time were believed to have power through the year. August 12 is the festival of the Lights of Isis, which was celebrated lanterns and votive candles. October 7 is the feast of the Going Forth of Isis. It can be celebrated by taking her beautifully dressed image to visit another sacred space which is dedicated to her. Divination was also performed on this festival. Food offerings were made to Isis and then shared by celebrants. The Isia of Isis is held from October 31 to November 3. The Koiak, the Mysteries of Osiris, are held during this period. The Koiak honors his death, dismemberment, and resurrection by Isis.
November 1 marks her search for the scattered parts of his body, and her re-membering of Osiris.

December 22 is the day of the Mysteries of Isis. A priestess representing Isis, wearing her cow horns and solar disk, circles the shrine or coffin of Osiris seven times to signify mourning. She shakes her sistrum to drive away Set and bring about the rebirth of Osiris. The Lament for Osiris is also sung by priestesses representing Isis and their her sister Nephthys. Additionally, the Rhodophoria, a festival of roses, was held in honor of Isis in some of the places where her worship spread from Egypt. Daily rituals of Isis include a morning ritual to awaken her, held when her image is brought forth for the day; a noontime ritual; an evening ritual, held when her image is shut away for the night; and a midnight ritual. The night of the Full Moon is a traditional time for celebrating Isis and Osiris. Isis is also traditionally honored on the first and fourth days of the New Moon. The nativity of Isis has been variously celebrated on July 17, during the Beautiful Festival of Heaven and Earth, on July 30, and on December 30.

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