Isis is one of the most important goddesses of Egypt. She is considered to be the mother of all Egyptian gods, as she is seen as a good wife and a role model. While she is highly crucial to Egyptian culture, her name and power go beyond the Egyptian border. She has become an important goddess in many major religions throughout the centuries, including Paganism and Witchcraft. Isis is worshipped throughout the world by Witches for her strong feminine image and for the power that she carries. But, before we get to how Isis is worshipped today by Witches, let us look at her legends and stories to see why she is so important to many religions around the globe.
The Egyptian Goddess Isis
Isis, or Aset or Eset, has become an important goddess of Ancient Egypt. She stands above other Egyptian gods and goddesses as a type of queen; her name is even the Greek form for the ancient Egyptian word for “throne.” She was not immediately a being of high power. She was initially an obscure goddess with no importance, but she grew in importance as the eras progressed, and her story was told.
As her legend is told by the priests of Heliopolis, Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut. She was married to Osiris and represented the typical wife of standing behind her husband and supporting him fully. She taught other women to weave, bake, and other household tasks. But then her brother, Seth, plotted to kill Osiris so he could become king of Egypt. Seth hacked Osiris and scattered his pieces. Isis discovered the betrayal and made Osiris whole again as a mummy. She later bore him a son, Horus, which forced Osiris to the underworld to serve as king of the underworld.
Isis hid with her son until he was old enough to avenge his father’s death. Because she was also Seth’s sister, she wavered during the final battle between her son and brother, causing Horus to behead her. But her head was reattached by magic, and she was able to reconcile with Horus before he took the throne.
Isis was depicted as the perfect wife in her story with her never-ending support of Osiris, but her wits also proved she was able to fight and protect when needed. She has strong magic that she only ever used when required, such as to revive her husband. She became known as a protector of the dead and a goddess of power. Due to her diverse powers that transcended other Egyptian deities, she became highly respected.
Isis had her first significant temple dedicated to her by King Nectanebo II between 360-343 BCE. Slowly, more temples devoted to her popped up as her influence grew. As new temples grew, Isis gained new titles due to her power, such as the Goddess of Magic and Wisdom, the Mother Goddess, the Sky Goddess, and many more.
Worshipping Isis Across the Globe
As Isis gained popularity in Egypt, a cult grew to worship and spread her good name. Since the cult was growing, they were able to travel out of Egypt’s boundaries. When the cult reached Rome, Emperor Augustus forbade the worship of Isis, but some Roman worshippers absorbed Isis into the cult of Cybele.
When the cult made it to Pagans, they adopted Isis’s traditions as a patron Goddess. In female-centered covens, she is often found in the center of them. While modern Pagans do not follow Egyptian ceremonies, they were able to incorporate her lore and mythology into the Wiccan framework and create contemporary worship for her. She became a divine goddess of nature and women empowerment, which many female Witches love.
Of course, Christianity has also taken an interest in Isis. Christians did try to cover up the image of Isis by using their images. Many believe that the depiction of Isis nursing her son Horus influenced the images of Mary with infant Jesus. Also, the images of Isis holding her dead husband in her lap influenced the image of Mary holding Jesus after he was crucified.
Isis Worshiped Today
Today, Isis has become a significant influence in Wiccan tradition. She is one of the first goddesses spoken of in the Wiccan Charge, which conveys Goddesses as immanent. Isis is said to be found in the natural world but also transcendent. She is the Goddess of the Earth, Moon, and Stars. The Wiccan Charge lures people to Wicca because it encourages them to strive for what we believe is out of our reach.
Since Isis has been in contact with other Divine figures in Egypt and around the world, she has steadily been incorporated in public religious festivals. Isis has about four different festivals thrown for her throughout the year celebrating her important roles, her love for Osiris, and commemorating the birth of her son. Any religion can take part or throw these festivals. Witches also leave offerings for Isis outside of the celebrations to show respect, ask for aid, or show Isis devotion.
Isis gives women the power to believe in their abilities and what they can do to make a difference. She also provides them with the confidence that, no matter what they go through, they can come out on top with enough determination. Showing respect to her today is easy since she is mainly looking for your determination and desire to be someone better. Now that you’ve learned more about her and what she represents, any ritual or offering that you leave her will have a stronger connection to you and your power. Isis may even be encouraged to grant you some of her strength for a short time as long as you use it for good. So, get out there and call for her; if you are worthy of her help, she will make herself known.
Offering for Isis
What You Will Need:
- Red glass cup
- Ceramic bowl
- Consecrated water
- Lilies and Ivy
- Ruby, Pearl, and Amethyst
- Myrrh incense
- 3 White candles
- Bread and other wheat products
- Dried Beef
What You Will Need to Do:
As Isis corresponds to the Moon, it is best to perform this ritual during the night. Find a comfortable place outside to leave the offerings. Sprinkle the consecrated water in a circle around your working space. This will cleanse the area you are working in.
Sit in the center of your working space, hold up your hands to the Moon, and say the following to catch Isis’ attention.
“Isis, mother of the moon,
I call out to you with a boom
To take these offerings, I present
In hope, you lend me your power without resent.”
Set the three candles out with one on either side of you and one in front of you. Set the Myrrh incense in front of you. Light the candles and incense and close your eyes. Focus on the scent of the incense and slip into a meditative state. This will help cleanse your mind and prepare yourself better.
Place the red glass cup and ceramic bowl in front of the incense. Start by placing the gems in the bowl. Say the following.
“With these gems, I do say,
That you will feel what I pray.”
Then, tear up the bread and dried beef into small pieces. Sprinkle them into the bowl and say the following.
“Bread and beef I toss in this bowl
So that your belly will start to roll
Full of pleasure and taste you do enjoy.”
Now, place the lilies and ivy on top of the bread and beef. Make sure that you cover them completely to prevent bugs or other wildlife from getting the bread and beef before Isis has a chance to. Hover your hands over the bowl, lower your head, close your eyes, and focus your energy into the offerings in the bowl. Say the following to help imbue your energy into the offerings.
“Isis, I leave you these offerings
So that you may have the energy and drive
To help me strive
For a better tomorrow.”
Next, pour the milk into the red glass. As you pour, say the following to help power the milk and make it more desirable for Isis.
“With this milk of mothers, I do say
That it will bring positive energies to your day.”
Squeeze some honey into the milk. You do not have to worry about mixing the honey into the milk but do say the following.
“Sweet and sticky honey,
I hope it will make your day sunny.”
Bring your hands together and meditate a few more minutes in Isis’ energy. When done, you can take the candles and incense away and leave the offerings out for the rest of the night before cleaning them up in the morning.