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Ancient Egyptian Gods
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Isis (Aset, Ast)

Symbols: throne, kite, scorpion, sistrum, tiet (the "Knot of Isis")

Depiction: Depictions of the goddess Isis showed her as a woman wearing the solar disk between a pair of horns and a vulture headdress. Some times she is shown wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt sporting a pair of ram’s horns or the feather of Ma’at. Isis was also depicted as a woman, not a goddess, with a simple ordinary headdress and with a uraeus on her forehead.

Mythology: Isis was the daughter of Nut and Geb and the sister and wife of Osiris. In myth, Isis aided her husband during his reign as the king of Egypt and searched madly for his body after his death so that he might be given a proper burial. Isis conceived her son Horus either through magic or by resurrecting Osiris. Isis raised Horus on a floating island called Chemmis to protect the child from his uncle Seth. Seth wanted to murder Horus, but Isis hid the child so that some day he might avenge his father’s death.

The ancient Egyptians saw Isis as a benevolent goddess, good and kind. Each pharaoh was her son and Isis loved all creatures like a mother. She was the chaste and devoted wife and as a result most highly regarded among the Egyptian gods. Her benevolence resulted in her worship beyond Egypt and as far away as Great Britain. The ancient Greeks associated Isis with Athena and Tethys. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Isis is the giver of food and life to the dead. In the Pyramid Text, Isis suckles each pharaoh at her breast as his mother. The pharaoh was considered the embodiment of Isis’ son, Horus, on earth. Isis was also known for her magic and, with this gift, created the first cobra.


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