The Goddess Isis – Inspiring and Mystifying

Isis giving milk E11878 mp3h8710
Isis giving milk, Musée du Louvre, photo by Rama – Wikipedia

Isis was the central goddess of ancient Egypt, sister and wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.

Her cult spread throughout the ancient Greek and Roman world, where she was linked with many mystery cults popular at the time.

In sculpture, she’s often seen suckling the infant Horus. From this, Isis is regularly and arguably wrongly equated with the Virgin Mary and Kwan Yin by writers like Joseph Campbell and others who believe it’s valid to lump together different mythic beings on the basis of a few similarities in artistic representation.

In this case what’s similar is a woman suckling an infant, which is hardly unique considering most women throughout the ages have breastfed after giving birth.

Some feminist and New Age writers also subsume the different figures of Isis, Mary and Kwan Yin into a general idea of The Goddess.

Sculpture of a woman, possibly Isis, in a pose of mourning; fifteenth or fourteenth century BCE – Wikipedia

Isis is also well known for resurrecting her dismembered brother and husband Osiris. Osiris’ death and resurrection is also likened by some to Christ’s, even though the details differ significantly.

In the Star Trek mythos, Isis is the name of a telepathic black cat and woman partner of a time traveler, Gary Seven, who travels to 20th century Earth to prevent nuclear war.¹

Isis in cat and human form in TOS “Assignment Earth” –

I became interested in the mythic idea of Isis while still quite young. A long-term partner and I had just gone our separate ways, which, psychologically speaking, sort of unmoored my proverbial rocketship making it ready for takeoff. I hadn’t been to India yet but already I was going deeper into what Carl Jung called the ‘archetypes’ of the ‘collective unconscious.’ One result was this juvenile poem:

¹ For more on this, see

Related Posts » Death and Resurrection, Dismemberment, Goddess vs. goddess, Great Mother, Juvenal, Osiris, Theosophy


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