Isis is the feminine archetype for creation; she is the goddess of fertility and motherhood. She has gone by many names and played many roles in history and mythology – as goddess and female creator. She was a protective goddess. She used powerful magic spells to help people in need. She was considered to be the patron saint of women, mothers and children.
Isis has many names, titles and functions, among them She was known as the Great Muse, the Lady of Love, healing, protection, fertility, beauty, abundance, art, magic, mystery and miracles. Many people in our time believe in and work with this wonderful Being. From the Judaeo Christian point of view one might think of Isis as a great Archangel. Though superficially it appears that the ancient Egyptians had many Gods, there was an underlying awareness of and belief in the One from whom all emanate.
The ancient Egyptians believed that their most beloved Goddess, the Divine Mother, Isis (Aset, Ast), was the Soul of the Star Sirius, and they saw Sirius as a cosmic manifestation of Her. Her husband, Osiris, was connected to Orion. According to Ancient Egyptian believes, ceremonies performed directly under Orion’s belt produce a sacred alignment, which allows humans to communicate directly with Osiris.
Isis and Osiris
The story of Isis and Osiris was a great love story, a story of betrayal, of death and resurrection. It was also a story of the miraculous conception and birth of their divine Son, Horus, the Egyptian Savior God, who was destined to avenge the death of His divine Father and restore divine Order to the kingdom of Egypt. Osiris is the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and rebirth in ancient Egyptian religion. In the old belief, ever after Horus succeeded in his task, all Pharaohs who followed Him in succession were considered to be incarnations of Him, and thought to be Sons of Isis. This legitimized their rule for Isis was considered to be the embodiment of the Royal Throne.
As the great lady of the Underworld, who assisted in transforming the bodies of the blessed dead into those wherein they were to live in the realm of Osiris, she was Ament – the hidden goddess – mother of Ra. In this capacity she shared with Osiris the attribute of Giver of Life providing food for the dead as well as for the living.
Isis in the Tarot
Isis is featured in the Tarot as The High Priestess, 2nd Major Arcana after The Magician. She wears a blue robe with a cross on her chest and a horned diadem (or crown), both a symbol of her divine knowledge and her status as a divine ruler. In her lap, she holds a scroll with the letter TORA, signifying the Greater Law (according to A. E. Waite). It is partly covered, signifying that this sacred knowledge is both explicit and implicit, it will only be revealed when the student is ready to look beyond the material realm. The crescent moon at her feet symbolises her connection with the divine feminine, her intuition and subconscious mind, and the natural cycles of the moon.