Isis Becomes the Virgin Mary
“This Egyptian deity [Isis] under many names appears as the principle of natural fecundity among nearly all the religions of the ancient world. She was known as the goddess with ten thousand appellations and was metamorphosed by Christianity into the Virgin Mary, for Isis, although she gave birth to all living things–chief among them the Sun–still remained a virgin, according to the legendary accounts.” –
Manly P Hall / The Secret Teachings of all Ages
Isis declares, “I am Isis, the great Goddess, the Mistress of Magic, the Speaker of Spells,” and on monuments “I am in the constellation of the Dog.”
Out of all the Gods and Goddesses, there are few if any who can compare to the power, magic and adaptability of the Goddess we know of today as Isis. Many people seem to be mistaken as to the various roles or different names of the Goddess Isis in mythology and life as we know it. To some people she is only known under the name Isis, but to many other such as the Greeks, Isis is known as the goddess with ten thousand names or Isis Panthea (”Isis the All-Goddess”). Hence, to think her power lies just in the singular name of Isis is what I call a “sirius mistake.” A mistake that can leave you stung by the scorpion as you operate under the magical spell of the veil of the mistress of the dark.
For example, you will find Isis disguised under the name “Hecate.” Hecate is one of the many titles of “Isis the great Hecate” and “The mother-goddess Isis, the great Hecate.” She has a lion’s head. Apuleius says (Metam. lib. xi.) that Hecate is another name for Isis. She is also the sorceress and in the magical papyri of Ptolemaic Egypt, she is called the ‘she-dog’ or ‘bitch.’ Lucan says, “Nos in templa tuam Romana accepiraus Isin, semicanesque deos,” or “We have received into our Roman temples thine Isis, and divinities half-dog.”
Hecate, the sorceress, is one of the titles of Isis that was given by the Greeks and Eomans as a name to their queen of Hell. Hence, Isis in not only the Queen of Heaven (AS ABOVE), but also the Queen of Hell (SO BELOW/Earth). It wasn’t until after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter that Isis became known as Queen of Heaven and today she is mostly known by this description. However, as mentioned in the first paragraph, Isis also has many other roles that she plays in the abyss of mankind and some of them do not deal with Heaven. Actually, quite the opposite.
The husband of Isis was Osiris and her symbol as the moon was called the wife of the sun. Another name for Osiris was Rho-t-amenti, which means “King of Hell,” and in Greek Rhadamanthus. From the midst of chaos was born Osiris, and at his birth a voice was heard proclaiming – “The ruler of all the earth is born.”
A recent article I had just written titled, Isis – Goddess of Darkness, and Chaos describes what some may call rather sinister titles or roles of this Goddess that would definitely correlate with her being wife of the King of Hell making her the “Queen of Hell.” From the same dark and troubled-womb were born Isis the Queen of Light, and Typhon the Spirit of Darkness.
Isis is also sometimes known as Maut (Mut), the mother goddess who was considered a primal deity, associated with the waters (Chaos/Abyss) from which everything was born through parthenogenesis. The hieroglyph for Mut’s name, and for mother itself, was that of a white vulture, which the Egyptians believed were very maternal creatures. The headdress of Isis is frequently shown with a vulture resting on top of her head and in Egypt she was frequently called Man, and her totem there was a vulture. This connection of the vulture confirms that Mut and Isis are the same or hybrid dieties of one of the other.
It is said that the sister and companion of Isis is the wicked Typhon, who put the husband of Isis, Osiris to death. The name Typhon means “wicked mother.” This is just another name for Isis to describe her wicked ways as the Queen of Hell and also the Wicked Mother of the Son of the Sun God, Horus. Diodorus Siculus notes, that it was on account of the dog’s adherence to Isis, when she was seeking the body of Osiris, killed by Typhon. For this reason dogs were led before the pomps of Isis. The howling of them was ever an omen of death; their barking at night was a bad prognostick; and it was deemed unfortunate to meet a black one, more especially a pregnant bitch. Hence, why she later took the name of Hecate, the sorceress ‘she-dog’ or ‘bitch.’
This story of Typhon, Isis the Wicked Mother, we find in ancient mythology passed down to us by Plutarch and then given new life by Carl Gustav Jung and Beatrice M. Hinkle in the Book titled, “Psychology of the Unconscious: A Study of the Transformations and Symbolisms;”
Isis, the mother of god, played an evil trick on the sun-god with the poisonous snake; also Isis behaved treacherously toward her son Horus in Plutarch’s tradition. That is, Horus vanquished the evil Typhon, who murdered Osiris treacherously (terrible mother= Typhon). Isis, however, set him free again. Horus thereupon rebelled, laid hands on his mother and tore the regal ornaments from her head, whereupon Hermes gave her a cow’s head. Then Horus conquered Typhon a second time. Typhon, in the Greek legend, is a monstrous dragon.
It in this story that we can clearly see that the roles and regal authority of Isis had changed when she killed her husband Osiris and then her son, Horus rebelled, laid hands on his mother and tore the regal ornaments from her head, whereupon Hermes gave her a cow’s head. This would be the time when Mut, the doting mother, was assimilated into Hathor meaning the House of Horus. Hathor who often took the form of a hippopotamus. The hippopotamus and the crocodile were also emblems of Typhon which is also just another name for Isis. Hence, the Goddess with ten thousand names.
Hippopotamuses are by nature very aggressive animals. Hippos involved in attacks on other animals are often either mature bulls, which tend to be very territorial and indiscriminately ill-tempered, or females, which are quite protective of their young calves. To mark territory, hippos spin their tails while defecating to distribute their excrement over a greater area. They are widely considered to be one of the most dangerous large animals in Africa. Hence, the reason why the reason why the hippo is a symbol for Isis-Hathor.
Hathor was also the cow-goddess and mother of Horus who had become identified as Ra’s wife and Mut-Hathor became identified as Isis (either as Isis-Hathor or Mut-Isis-Nekhbet), the most important of the females in the Ennead (the nine), and the patron of the queen. The Ennead proved to be a much more successful identity and the compound triad of Mut, Hathor, and Isis, became known as Isis alone—a cult that endured into the 7th century A.D. and spread to Greece, Rome, and Britain.
Tacitus writes that after the assassination of Julius Caesar, a temple in honour of Isis had been decreed, but was suspended by Augustus as part of his program to restore traditional Roman religion. The emperor Caligula, however, was open to Eastern religions, and the Navigium Isidis, a procession in honor of Isis, was established in Rome during his reign. This first appearance of Sirius in the pre-dawn sky was used to start the so-called Egyptian “lunar” calendar year, which was used for purposes of regulating religious affairs and everyday life.
The religion of Isis thus spread throughout the Roman Empire during the formative centuries of Christianity.The image of Horus breast feeding on his mother (pictured above left) became the iconic image of the Isis cult in Rome that then became the template for the Christian Madonna cult that can still be seen today in most all Roman Catholic Churches. The last Pharaoh Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII was of the family of Ptolemy and had always appeared in public clothed in a robe sacred to Isis, her head adorned with a crown of golden lily leaves. It represents a woman with a glory around her head and a babe in her arms or seated on her knee.
However, this image is no longer known as the Cult of Isis and is now part of the world’s largest religion known today as Catholicism and the her name is no longer that off Isis, but was replaced by the iconic Virgin Mary.Today in many churches you will find the Virgin Mary represented by the lotus or now called the lily in her hand or the fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys in French means “lily flower” (fleur means flower, and lis means lily or iris). The white fleur-de-lis, often called the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the flower of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary and a symbol of purity or whiteness. You will find this symbol throughout history as an ornament on the crowns, scepters, thrones, seals, coins, etc. of not only French Kings, but also on Greek, Roman, German, English, Spanish, Egyptian, Syrian and ancient Babylonian Kings.
For I am Isis, the great Enchantress, the Speaker of spells. The child shall live, the poison shall die! As Horus is strong and well for me, his mother, so shall this child be strong and well for his mother!”