She was seen as a maternal and protective goddess and was generally believed to be the protector of the Pharaoh. She was the wife of her brother Osiris. Incest was seen as an acceptable element in the lives of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, retaining the sacred bloodline.
Description & Depiction of the Egyptian Goddess Isis - Part Human & Part Animal
The Egyptian Gods or Goddesses, such as Isis, were often depicted as being part human and part animal. In the description of the Egyptian Goddess Isis she was most frequently depicted with the body of a human and with with the head of an animal - a cow. In the Ancient Egyptian religion certain animals were seen as sacred as they believed that the Spirit of a God resided in these animals, such as the cow, which were revered and worshipped as reincarnated Gods during their lifetimes.
The Egyptian the Goddess Isis - Creation and Relatives
The early Egyptian priests evolved a creation myth, or Cosmogony, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses came into being. The early Egyptian priests then evolved a Family tree, the relatives of the main Egyptian Gods, like Isis, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses were related.
Egyptian Sun Gods - The Ennead of Heliopolis
The Ennead is the collective name given to the nine deities of the cosmogony of Heliopolis (the birthplace of the Gods) of which the Goddess Isis was a member. Heliopolis was one of the most ancient cities of Egypt particularly associated with worship of sun-deities.
Temple of Isis
The Temples dedicated to Isis, the Goddess of Love, Magic, Fertility and Healing, were believed to be the dwelling place of this famous Egyptian God. Only the Pharaoh and the Priests of Isis were allowed inside the temple and the priests would undergo ritual purification in a deep stone pool before they entered the Inner Sanctum of the Temple. This not only cleansed them but also gave them contact with the primeval moisture of life. Ordinary Egyptians were only allowed to come to the gates, or forecourt, of the temple of Isis to pay homage and offer gifts to the God / Goddess. The Priests of Isis would collect the gifts and say prayers on behalf of the person in the confines of the temple. The priests of Isis, the Goddess of Love, Magic, Fertility and Healing, would conduct ceremonies, sacrifices and chant magical incantations, sometimes referred to as spells. The temple of Isis would consist of heavy gates which accessed a massive hall with great stone columns, and then a series of many other rooms through which processions of priests would pass. These rooms, or chambers, were lit by candles and incense would be burnt to purify the air of the Temple. The chambers gradually decreased in size, the lighting in the temple was deliberately and significantly reduced to create an atmosphere of deepening mystery until the priests reached the chapel and the shrine which contained the Naos. The Naos was the stone tabernacle inside the shrine which housed the great Statue of Isis, the Goddess of Love, Magic, Fertility and Healing.
The Statue of Isis
The large statue of the Goddess Isis, the God of Love, Magic, Fertility and Healing was situated in the inner sanctum of the Egyptian temple. The statue of Isis would have been depicted with the body of a woman and the horns of the cow. This sacred statue, in the dwelling place of the God, was the embodiment of Isis. Food and drink would be offered to the God. The High Priest of Isis, would conduct ceremonies and offer prayers and incantations but there was another important priest, called the Medjty, who was responsible for the toiletries. The statue of Isis would have been washed and oiled. The statue was then dressed in fine linen and eye make-up, powder and rouge was applied and sacred oil rubbed on the forehead of the statue. The statue of Isis, with its horns of the cow, was only seen by ordinary Egyptians at important festivals when the effigy was paraded in magnificent processions.
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