Rituals of ISIS

Festivals:

Two great Festivals are dedicated to Isis. The first was celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, to celebrate the return of life to the world (around March 20). This paled to the second celebration which usually started on October 31 and lasted through November 3. During this four day period a passion play was acted out over the death of Osiris and the magic of Isis returning him to life. During the first day, actors would impersonate Isis and her son Horus as well as various other gods as they searched across the world for the 14 body parts of Osiris. The Second and Third days showed the reassembly and rebirth of Osiris and the fourth day was a wild rejoicing over the success of Isis and the coming of the newly immortal Osiris. The belief is that through worship of Isis and strong devotion, she will return you to life as well should you die and you shall experience eternal happiness under her nurturing care, just as Osiris was rebuild and shall rule forever.

Almost everyday in ancient Egypt was a holiday, but no other was greater than the celebration of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris, which was celebrated in the fall. In preparation for the Mysteries, the festival of Lamentation was held, when a priestess with the goddess’ hieroglyph tattooed on her arm enacted the part of the mourning Isis. This festival had three days devoted to Isis’ loss and quest. Each day marked a specific part of the Goddess’ quest for her lover; the first day She sought Osiris, the second day She grieved His loss, the third day She found His body (163 Monaghan).

Her birthday was celebrated in the summer, and was called Night of the Cradle. Her mother Nut was also acknowledged on this day because “the mother gives birth to the daughter, and the daughter gives birth to the Mother” (163 Monaghan). The next day was also an Isian feast-which was Osiris’ birthday. Osiris was connected with the annual rising of the Nile River, celebrated as New Year’s Day. The Egyptian version of New Year’s Eve was Night of the Drop, when the grieving Isis was imagined to swell the Nile with her tears (163 Monaghan).

A fall festival celebrated the motherhood of Isis who was fertile enough to be able to conceive through an artificial phallus. Woman’s sexuality and fertility were at the center of a feast called Opening the Bosom of Women, celebrated with appropriate orgiastic behavior. This festival was a part of religious and civic duty for many thousands of years from the 3rd millennium BCE to the first of the Common Era (164 Monaghan).

In the spring a festival was celebrated as Isidis Navigatum, or the Blessing of the Fleets. This was a feast that celebrated Isis as ruler of the seas. It was said that Isis opened the Mediterranean to navigation. The celebration began with a statue of the Goddess being carried to the water, where flower-wreathed women offered her mirrors so that She could see Her beauty. Priests poured milk on the sands from a pitcher shaped like a breast, and then sprinkled the statue with precious perfumes. As the final part of the ritual, a crewless boat, whose prow was shaped like a water bird was filled with spices and sent out to the sea as an offering to the Goddess (164 Monaghan).

Proverbs:

  • Love is one thing, knowledge is another.
  • For every joy, there is a price to be paid.
  • The only thing that is humiliating is helplessness.
  • If his heart rules him, his conscience will soon take the place of the rod.
  • Exuberance is a good stimulus towards action, but the inner light grows in silence and concentration.
  • To know means to record in one’s memory; but to understand means to blend with the thing and to assimilate it oneself.
  • The man who knows how to lead one of his brothers towards what he has known may one day be saved by that very brother.
  • True teaching is not an accumulation of knowledge; it is an awakening of consciousness which goes through successive stages.

Names of the Goddess:

“the Divine One, the Only One, the Greatest of the Gods and Goddesses, the Queen of all Gods, the Female Ra, the Female Horus, the Eye of Ra, the Crown of Ra-Heru, Sept, Opener of the Year, Lady of the New Year, Maker of the Sunrise, Lady of Heaven, the Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of the North Wind, Queen of the Earth, Most Mighty One, Queen of the South and North, Lady of the Solid Earth, Lady of Warmth and Fire, Benefactress of the Duat, She Who is Greatly Feared in the Duat, the God-Mother, the God-Mother of Heru-ka-Nekht, the Mother of the Horus of Gold, the Lady of Life, Lady of Green Crops, the Green Goddess (Wadjet), Lady of Bread, Lady of Beer, Lady of Abundance, Lady of Joy and Gladness, Lady of Love, the Maker of Kings, Lady of the Great House, Lady of the House of Fire, the Beautiful Goddess, the Lady of Words of Power, Lady of the Shuttle, Daughter of Geb, Daughter of Neb-er-tcher, the Child of Nut, Wife of Ra, Wife of the Lord of the Abyss, Wife of the Lord of the Inundation, the Creatrix of the Nile Flood.”

Rituals of ISIS

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