Isis mother to Horus, wife to Osiris holds as much infamy as Horus if not more. Said to be the offspring of earth (Geb, her father) and of the sky (Nut, her mother). A solar deity, with the moon at her feet. Joined with Venus and said to have been educated by Mercury, she is also associated with water, life and rebirth.
Trying to understand the true meaning of the mystery religions without being a true initiate is a bit difficult. However with the more information at our disposal, sharing each bit of information allowing us to overlay the incoming info may lead us to a clearer understanding of why she (Isis) is still prevalent in pop culture today.
Isis the loving mother and wife can credit the main facet of her infamy to when she is said to have brought her husband Osiris back to life from his brutal death. Afterwards he was able to impregnate her with their son Horus. Through the Egyptian myths of Isis transmit her into a plethora of secret societies including but not limited to the Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Order of the Golden Dawn with Aleister Crowley, Freemasonry and then paganism spreading throughout Europe. It continues reflected into mainstream religions with Mother Mary and the Madonna sharing many of her attributes. It is even represented in artwork of the time, especially in the mother with child on the lap; Horus, Jesus. There is even a tale of a festival of Isis “Carrus Navalis” which symbolized the start of the sailing season. “Stella Maris” in Latin as she is also referred to as the Ocean star. This is probably taken from the Egyptian tale of he and the Nile.
Her rise to the most powerful of the gods was sealed on her clever yet kind nature. Ra, the sun god at the time was the most high. He however did not share the same feminine if you will, nurturing mother like way. He was in fact cruel. Her kindness was not at all a reflection of weakness. She performed magic, manipulating a situation to her merciful advantage. With the saliva of Ra and the mud of the earth she concocted a snake which struck Ra with its venom. A cure she did offer with a request of his true name, his secret name. It was this exchange needed for his life. His reluctant answer in fact saved his life, but not without giving her the complete power over life and now death. Unlike her counter, she used all her power for the good of the people.
This story reminds me of a similar withholding or non-speaking of a true name, the name of power. Such as Lilith spoke the true name of Gd and became invoked with a powerful force. Now in occultist thinking of religion, the old gods and/or goddesses of the old become the devils in the new. So you could not say then without speculation if the secret societies or to an extent the goddess/pagan/new age religions that still worship to Isis are taking it as a positive or somewhat demonic form….
Masonic artwork depicts Isis weeping my a broken column, reading incantations to bring life about Osiris’s body. This symbolically touches the Egyptian tale of her tears over Osiris then causing the Nile to flood bringing about life. (water, rebirth) An inscription at Philae states, “(Isis) Ruler in heaven, Queen on earth…all the gods are under her command.” Plutach of Isis and Osiris, “she (Isis) is both wise and a lover of wisdom; as her name appears o denote that, more that any other, knowing and knowledge belong to her.” The Egyptian Book of the Dead also mentions her, “she (Isis) who gives back to heaven and earth, she who knows the orphan….she who knows the widow spider, she who seeks justice for the poor people, she who seeks shelter for the weak.” In Greek mythology she is often associated Athena and is a symbol of fertility. When depicted with her outstretched wings it is said to represent her compassion and her offering of protection. The tone of Isis changes after Alexander the Great as her story is retold with Serapis replacing Osiris and Horus for Apollo. All the same her character remains. What is interesting is that her name is still current.
From the celebrity push (Rihanna and her Isis Tattoo) to the use of her name is many organizations directly or not so directly linked to her. As mentioned earlier her connection to the Knights of Malta and the Templar, The Order of Saint John (The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem) indirectly is linked to her through the sponsorship of “Isis House” by the Knights of Malta. This is a 1000 year old establishment doing “Goddesses’ Work”. If was interesting to see that there are also numerous of other organizations, programs and groups utilizing her name in some way.
Just for fun, let’s look at a quick scan of the name “ISIS” used for websites, names of companies or acronyms.
Interactive Spectral Interpretation System space.mit.edu/cxc/isis
Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional isis.washington.edu
Institute for Science and International Security isis-online.org
International Species Information System isis.org
Institute for Software Intergrated Systems isis.vanderbilt.edu
International Spine Intervention Society
USGS ISIS isis.astrology.usgs.gov
Isis for Women
Isis – University of Chicago Press
Pay with Isis paywithisis.com
And we can’t forget the new terrorist group ISIS.