Finding Serendipity

Finding Serendipity

Author:   Mirage 

When I was first drawn to Paganism and Wicca, I had some high expectations. I thought that I could summon dragons and fairies and they would appear whenever I wanted. I expected sparks to fly out of the end of my wand and every love spell I cast would bring the man of my dreams right to my door. As we all know, those events never came to be. One thing I didn’t expect, or even consider for that matter, was the relationship I would develop with the Divine. The ironic thing is, the one expectation I didn’t have became the most profound part of my spiritual journey.

I was brought up hardcore Catholic. I only knew of ONE God and His fury if you did something that He disapproved. Not a very fulfilling spiritual experience if you ask me… I was dragged to mass on a weekly basis and I also had to suffer through religion classes as well. I was forced to receive Holy Communion and become a Confirmed Catholic. This was a very angering experience for me- it never felt quite right and it left me feeling empty. I am by no means bashing the Catholic religion; I am just sharing my experience with it.

I was spiritually lost and confused and I had nobody to turn to with my questions and doubts. For a while, I did not believe in anything at all and considered myself Agnostic. I questioned the existence of the Divine and wondered why I should waste my time praying and worshipping something that never responded.

On top of that, I was going through a rough time at school and at home- I didn’t fit in and everybody knew it. The worst part of the whole thing was that people always had to express their feelings of disapproval toward me and that just made things even more difficult and awkward.

When I hit rock bottom and pretty much didn’t care if I lived another day, the Egyptian Goddess Isis called to me. I can’t recall the exact moment that it happened, but I was strangely drawn to Her. I researched Her online and at libraries and also bought everything I could that related to Her (jewelry, statues, books, etc.)

At first I thought the fascination was just something to distract me from all of my emotional issues, but now that I look back on the situation, I think She saved me from myself and my situation. She gave me a new focus and a reason to live.

Unfortunately, I had to hide my beliefs because I was still living with my parents and they considered anything other than what they believed to be “devil worship”. I still continued learning and worshiping, trying to avoid their “blasphemy radar”- I know they knew what I was doing, but they had no proof since I would do most of it after they went to sleep.

I hate to say it, but even after Isis had called to me, I was still skeptical about the existence of the Divine, so I decided to conduct a little “test”. I made several requests to Isis and if they came to be, I told myself that I would never doubt the existence of the Divine again.

Sure enough, my requests were met- not always in ways that I expected, but Isis definitely got Her point across. In the midst of all this, I ended up leaving my parents house-for two reasons to be exact. First of all, I couldn’t stand them continually bashing my spiritual beliefs and trying to impose their beliefs on me again. They never made an effort to learn about my beliefs or ask me why I didn’t want to be a part of their faith any more, and I found that disrespectful. They just assumed I was trying to be rebellious and if they kept threatening me with the fires of hell I would come back to their church and their beliefs. Second, they disapproved the greatest gift that Isis had given to me- my husband (at the time we had just been engaged) .

Once I was out of my parent’s house, I was able to worship and learn freely. No more hiding books and statues… Isis was my fortress. With Her I felt like nothing could harm me- She would let me stumble to learn my lessons, but She would never let me fail completely. I continued my studies pertaining to Wicca and Egyptian Paganism, but I felt something was missing…

Isis was wonderful and She was everything I could possibly want in a Deity, but Wicca emphasized both a Mother and Father God and there were also several Egyptian Gods I read about in my studies as well. As you can well imagine, every time I thought about the idea of a male Deity, I would cringe because of my experiences (or lack thereof) with the Christian God who so happens to be male. I suppose my past had caused me to develop a negative view of the Male Divine. The thought would cross my mind every now and then, but I would brush it aside because it would bring back those uncomfortable feelings I had as a Catholic.

Several years passed and I met a man who was a coven leader. I was a solitary practitioner and still am, but I am always interested in the viewpoints of others. His coven was Ecclectic, so they dealt with various Pantheons and Deities. I refused to budge from the Egyptian Pantheon when it came to worship and working magick, but I was willing to listen and learn about other Pantheons and Deities. I was having some personal issues at the time, and I needed a way to effectively let go of issues in my life that were holding me back.

The coven leader and I held a small private ritual in which we asked the Egyptian God Set for help to clear away my issues. I was both skeptical and uncomfortable for a few reasons. First of all, in Egyptian mythology, Set murdered the husband of Isis so he could be ruler of Egypt. Basically people have viewed him as being evil. I was afraid that by dealing with Set, this would irritate Isis and I would lose everything I had with Her. Second, my issue with the Male Divine came to mind as well.

I decided to let things take their course and go from there.

Months passed, and things gradually got better for me. I moved to a better apartment, got a promotion at work, and improved my relationship with my husband. I also strengthened my relationship with Isis and began a relationship with Set. I began to look past the gender of a Deity and focused on their aspects and how to develop a relationship with them.

I have several personality characteristics in common with both Isis and Set and I think this is why I am so close to both of them. I know it is an odd combination of Deities to work with (for those of you who follow the Egyptian Pantheon, I’m sure you can see why) , but they have both shown me that faith doesn’t have to be a blind and empty ordeal- the Divine is out there and if you know how to connect with it in a way that is personally moving to you, you will feel it and experience it!

I guess you can say that Set allowed me to let go of my negative preconceptions of the Male Divine and also helped me balance my spiritual life with guidance and protection from both a God and Goddess.

What I’m trying to say here is not to take religion or spirituality at face value. You can get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of magic and such, but our path has so much more to offer us! Expect the unexpected and view it as a gift from the Divine. I hope my story has inspired you to take a look at your spiritual life and count your blessings as well 🙂

Brightest Blessings,

Mirage

Calendar of the Sun for November 3

Calendar of the Sun

 
3 Blutmonath

Day VII of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Continue with the project that may fail.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Isis Invocation III

Mistress of the Gods
Thou bearer of wings
Thou lady of the red apparel
Queen of the crowns of the South and North,
Thou mighty one of enchantments,
Mistress and lady of the tomb,
Mother in the horizon of heaven.
For Isis the mighty raised her son in secret,
Hiding, running, evading their seeking enemies,
Teaching him always to be strong
And to one day avenge his father
And right the wrong that had been done to Egypt.
At night, Osiris the Good,
Once King of the Gods of Egypt,
Now King of the Dead Underground,
Flesh now gone green as verdure,
Wrapped in the shroud of the corpse,
Came to his son as a ghost
And trained him in the ways of mystery.
So it was that Horus grew strong
And his mother Isis raised him an army,
And one day in the summer of the year
They fell upon Set at the Nile,
And Horus fought him, and Horus won.
And all these things might have gone awry
If not for the unceasing love of Isis
For husband, for son, for justice.
Raise your voices for her, Mother in the horizon of heaven!
Raise your voices for him, Father of the Underworld!

(All cheer, and grain is thrown upwards in celebration.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for November 2

Calendar of the Sun

2 Blutmonath

Day VI of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Undertake a project that may fail.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Invocation to Isis II

Praise be unto thee, O lady, mightier than the gods,
The living souls who are in their hidden places
Praise the mystery of thee.
O thou who art their mother,
Thou source from which they sprang
Who makest for them a place in the hidden Underworld,
Who makest sound their bones
And preservest them from terror,
Who makes them strong in the abode of everlastingness.
For Isis searched three days in the swamps of the Nile,
Tirelessly she searched, unceasingly she searched,
Between her tears she waded in water
Thick with the crocodiles of doom
Sixteen pieces of her husband’s body
She recovered, but found to her eternal sorrow
The organ of fertility had been eaten by a crab,
The life force of Osiris was forever gone,
And all the magic in the world
Could not bring him back to life.
Yet she was not entirely undone,
For she brought him back for one night only,
One night enough to conceive his child
By all the means of her goodly magics.
And so was the sacred child Horus conceived
On a night of sorcery and secrecy,
And thus was born also his father’s vengeance.
Raise your voices for the power of Isis!

(All cheer, but then the cheers are silenced, and all exit quietly.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 28th

Calendar of the Sun

28 Winterfyllith

Day I of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Undertake a long-term difficult project.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Osiris Invocation

Hail O Osiris
Wake O Osiris
Arise O Osiris
Thy Mother Nuit gives thee birth
The great company of gods would converse with thee
Take thy seat, Osiris,
For none shall offend thee,
Thine enemies are beneath thee,
All honor is given
To Osiris, Lord of the Dead.
For Osiris, the eldest son of Nut,
Was feasting at his table
When forth came Set, his Adversary
With a coffin inlaid much with gold and gems,
Saying that whosoever the coffin fit,
Might have it for his own.
Osiris lay down in the coffin,
Only to find that it had been made for his measure,
And that Set’s henchmen had been laying in wait
To spring the lid closed,
Nail down the box,
And cast it into the Nile.
So it was done, and it floated into the great Sea,
Where it was borne up by the waves
To the foot of a tamarisk tree
Which enclosed it in a cradle of bark.
And there lay Osiris,
Great King of the Gods of Egypt,
Locked in stillness and one with the trees.
Weep for him, Lord of the Earth!
(All weep and wail, the lights are cast out, and the wailing continues as all exit.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Magickal Spell of the Day for July 11 – Eye of Horus Crystal Spell To Stop a Person Envying You

An Eye of Horus Blue Crystal Spell to Stop A Person from Envying You

The Eye of Horus, the ancient Egyptian Sky God, has been a symbol of protection against envy in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean lands for thousands of Years.

The Eye of Horus was made of blue glass or faience (a blue glass and ceramic mix), or painted on a blue stone such as lapis lazuli, sodalite or falcon’s eye. Horus was depicted as a falcon -headed deity. The protective image of Horus was worn on a necklace or carried as a charm.

Items You Will Need:

A round, flat, blue crystal; a small pot of acrylic or modeling paint and a thin brush, or a fine-line permanent ink market in a color that will show clearly on your chosen crystal.

Best Time To Cast:

During the Waning Moon, after sunset.

The Spell:

  1. Draw or paint the Eye of Horus on the blue crystal as you do so picturing the envious person surrounded in gentle blue light and turning away from you.
  2. When you have finished painting, enchant your crystal by moving your hands nine times over it, palms downwards, the left hand circling widdershin (anti-clockwise) and the right hand circling deosil (clockwise). As you move your hands, chant:  “Eye bright, By day and night, Turn the sight of (name of person) from me, And on them light. Bright blessings.” (If you wish you can send blessings to an ill-wisher, you will be doubly blessed yourself.)
  3. Keep the eye charm somewhere between you and the envious person.
  4. When the paint chips or fades, it is time to replace the charm (but this may never become necessary).

The Wicca Book of Days for July 4th – Saluting The Sun

The Wicca Book of Days for July 4th

Saluting the Sun

 

In ancient Egypt, Ra, the Sun God, received special attention in the form of sacrifices from his Earth-bound worshipers on the fourth day of each month. At temples dedicated to Ra, thrice-daily rituals were performed by the high priest, who had purified himself in the waters of the sacred lake before approaching the inner sanctum containing the statue that, it was believed, housed the God’s essence. At dawn, this divine image would be “awakened” by the smell of burning incense before being washed, anointed, dressed, and presented with food and other offerings.

Independence Day

On this Independence Day, thank your lucky stars (if you are an American citizen) that you are free to worship as you wish. The First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Isis and Osiris Love Placket (Storm Moon)

Isis and Osiris Love Placket

 
The Goddess Isis and her consort Osiris brought agriculture, music and spirituality to the ancient land of Egypt. Osiris was gentle and hated violence, and Isis was wise and adept at the ways of magick. When you bring this Goddess and God into your love magick, you bring divine love and caring into your relationship.
 
For this spell, you will need a white candle, a red envelope, a lock of your hair and a lock of your lover’s hair, and a green felt pen.
 
Light the candle and dedicate it to the Goddess and God:
 
Wise Isis and gentle Osiris
May your love always shine on me and my lover.
 
Take the red envelope, place in it your lock of hair and your lover’s, and seal it with a few drops of candle wax. Take the green felt pen and draw the image of an ankh on the front of the envelope. Now, draw a heart around the ankh, and as you do so, say the following:
 
Bring life to my love
Let it grow into eternity
So mote it be! Blessed be!

Today We Honor The Goddess Nekhbet

The Goddess Nekhbet

In Egyptian mythology, Nekhbet (also spelt Nechbet, and Nekhebit) was an early predynastic local goddess who was the patron of the city of Nekheb, her name meaning of Nekheb. Ultimately, she became the patron of Upper Egypt and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.

She was seen as a goddess who had chosen to adopt the city, and consequently depicted as the Egyptian white vulture, a creature that the Egyptians thought only existed as females (not knowing that, lacking sexual dimorphism, the males are identical). They were presumed to be reproducing via parthenogenesis.

Egypt’s oldest oracle was the shrine of Nekhbet at Nekheb, the original necropolis or city of the dead. It was the companion city to Nekhen, the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period (c. 3200–3100 BC) and probably, also during the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3100–2686 BC). The original settlement on the Nekhen site dates from Naqada I or the late Badarian cultures. At its height, from about 3400 BC, Nekhen had at least 5,000 and possibly as many as 10,000 inhabitants.

The priestesses of Nekhbet were called muu (mothers) and wore robes of Egyptian vulture feathers.

Later, as with Wadjet, Nekhbet’s sister, became patron of the pharaohs, in her case becoming the personification of Upper Egypt. The images of these two primal goddesses became the protecting deities for all of Egypt, also known as the “two ladies” and one of the titles of each ruler was the Nebty name, which was associated with these goddesses and beginning as [s/he] of the Two Ladies… with the remainder of that title.

In art, Nekhbet was depicted as the white vulture (representing purification), always seen on the front of pharaoh’s double crown along with Wadjet. Nekhbet usually was depicted hovering, with her wings spread above the royal image, clutching a shen symbol (representing infinity, all, or everything), frequently in both of her claws. As patron of the pharaoh, she was sometimes seen to be the mother of the divine aspect of the pharaoh, and it was in this capacity that she was Mother of Mothers, and the Great White Cow of Nekheb.

The vulture hieroglyph was the uniliteral sign used for the glottal sound (3) including words such as mother, prosperous, grandmother, and ruler. In some late texts of the Book of the Dead, Nekhbet is referred to as Father of Fathers, Mother of Mothers, who hath existed from the Beginning, and is Creatrix of this World.

When pairing began to occur in the Egyptian pantheon, giving most of the goddesses a husband, Nekhbet was said to become the wife of Hapy, a deity of the inundation of the Nile. Given the early and constant association of Nekhbet with being a good mother, in later myths she was said to have adopted children.

Wikipedia

 

Faith: A Measure of Courage

Faith: A Measure of Courage

Author: Phoenix Forestsong

Trials of faith are perhaps one of the most difficult and seemingly impossible to beat, truths of life. Do you believe because you want to? Do you believe because you need to? Do you believe because you’re afraid not to? Do you believe firmly, and with utter conviction from the fiery furnace that is your soul, simply because you do?

Being the over-analytical and opportunistically studious Witch that I am, combined with the convenient timing of a test of faith (I’m an optimist) , I began to wonder exactly what Faith was. Exciting stuff I know, in fact, it is so exciting that from the earliest days of mankind, we nearly instinctually segregated ourselves based on the unquantifiable attribute of Faith. Man has been gleefully and gloriously engaging his fellow men to kill, rape, hunt, sacrifice, maim, torture, enslave, debase, dehumanize, corrupt, ostracize, ignore, discriminate, and in every other way demean anyone whose beliefs differ in any way.

Faith. It led an entire nation of people who valued their beliefs above all else, their core ideals all based on the same essential beliefs, into the very example of Devotion. From the very earliest of times it was faith that led these people from a nomadic and pastoral way of life, into a Mecca of civilization and legend. From freedom to power to bondage, into one hell of a bad road trip and back into a great nation again, it was Faith, Devotion to their God that has held them together throughout time.

This group of people, their common beliefs uniting them, marched straight into battle for the very land of their new nation. Not only have these brave and noble souls won and lost their land, their nation, their very lives have been hunted in genocide. Even during those times, when the sky looked the darkest, when it looked like the curtains were just about to close and nothing mattered anymore; it was Faith that made the difference. Faith, with its immeasurable and intangible set of life altering philosophies and values, brought them back from the terrifying depths of extinction into the glory of nationhood once again…and again…and again…

Faith – A Test of Time

It is said that Time is the ultimate destroyer, that nothing and no one can ever defeat the ravaging and eroding effects of Time. I beg to differ. Read the following excerpt from an AP article that I found on space.com.

“Current estimates for the construction of the pyramids, based on surviving lists of the pharaohs, are believed to be accurate to within about 100 years.

But Cambridge University Egyptologist Kate Spence said that by analyzing the relative position of Earth and two stars, she has dated the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — to within five years of 2478 B.C.
That means the Great Pyramid is 4, 478 years old — or 75 years older than one commonly accepted estimate.”
-Stars tell the age of the pyramids, researcher says:
Alex Dominguez – Associated Press Writer posted: 11:18 am ET 17 November 2000

Scientifically, I get it. If you read the full article it states that the Pyramids were built with their north and south sides facing precisely north and south. By mapping the orbits of stars and calculating it backwards, two stars in the little and big dipper were always facing north and south. Thus, if you date it backwards and find where, thus when, those stars would have been aligned with North and South, you find the year! Ingenious!

It’s all Math! The universe, life, all of it and everything can, at some level, be quantified in an equation or counted in an audit. Everything except the spiritual…or can it be? I’ll leave the answer to that question to paranormal scientists, who I do believe are doing some good scientific work in expanding the science of the paranormal, to measure and prove. Until then, I’ll use my senses to detect Spirit, to feel faith, and to live in Devotion.

Faith – The Mouth of the Cave

Upon having our eyes opened with, oh…I don’t know, mankind’s rapid advancement in technology for example. There was once a time where men and women would willingly wait inside a forest for lightening to strike a tree in order to borrow fire. Mankind at this very moment now has the amazing ability to incinerate selected nations, or the entire world with the push of a button. How stupid are we?

Primitive humans understood at a feral level the patterns of the natural world. In fact, these primitive people thrived by living in harmony with their world. If I were a primitive human, I would like to think that I would have enough common sense to stay away from things that obviously attract lightening!

“Enlightened Man” has left the comfortable embrace of the Mother and ventured out into the wilderness to visit her gorgeous daughter. Man has traveled into space, landed on the Moon, split the Atom, and discovered infinite possibilities and solutions to problems and ideas not yet encountered. Humanity, in only the past hundred years, has learned to fly without wings. He has decoded the message of DNA and broadcast a message of peace to anyone who is listening in the rest of Universe via intelligent machines that he built.

Our “Golden Age of Humanity” who has created new worlds via Computers and the Internet, who will shortly fill that world with a new form of life, has discovered many secrets and realized many dreams. Yet still, as we discover incredible Life-Giving techniques and technologies, we for some reason still stand in the forest amidst one hell of a lightening storm.

Personally I don’t seem to recall, but at what point did we decide that actually building many something’s that could potentially have the ability to blow up the planet was a good idea? Yet one wave of humanity passes over the horizon and realizes “Gee, that probably wasn’t such a great idea huh?” another wave is right behind assembling their weapons as they run to catch up. As a species, we haven’t really advanced all that much have we?

Humankind has traversed uncounted miles and topped many horizons, each time discovering and dreaming just a little bit further and further ahead. In the days when life consisted of finding the nearest cave for shelter and the weakest deer for food, minds did not stray from survival. Thinkers were born who were a little brighter than the rest of the herd. Eventually new ways, safer ways, better ways were discovered, dreamt up, imagined and manifested into reality, and were learned by the whole of society. Thus, mankind has advance one step at a time from the cave and onto the shores of other worlds.

Yet still, even with the realization that the bounds of knowledge and discovery are limitless, mankind refuses to believe in what he cannot measure. The allegory of the cave is an example of this, for once you have left the cave, wouldn’t you want to see what else exists? For time and time again has history displayed the arrogance and folly of those who refuse to dream. I can quantify a tomato because I can see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, and perform numerous measurements on it. It is real because I can see it. Photons are light particles, a strange hybrid mixture of substance and energy that moves like a wave and a particle. The great inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, dreamt of some of our modern technology. Would the Photon, immeasurable in his day, be thought of as fantasy and magick? When I raise power, when my mother prays for one of her clergy, when I experience the divine, is that too not real?

Jules Verne, the great author, wrote works of fantasy and fiction. In his day his books were the stuff of dreams, a demented mind with too much time on his hands. It’s funny the way it is, how just a short time ago the works of fantasy are the stuff of our history. There are very few people who still live today who were never born into a world without flight. It’s commonplace. Hell, we have frequent flier miles!

If you were to go back in time and speak to the greatest minds of their day, a lot like two surfers’ excellent adventure, and tell them of our world and our dreams, how would that go over? Explain the mathematics involved behind thermonuclear fission to Socrates and then explain the very same thing to Thomas Jefferson. Which one will have the greater understanding? The more we advance, the further we see, and greater our dreams, which urge us onward over the next horizon…and the next….and the next… Why then, does our scientific community, people who were executed for their beliefs in provable science, and thus the “official world” still refuse to at least consider that which has not yet been quantified?

Our most brilliant minds have been able to prove, to the world of science, the existence of Black Holes. Black holes have no mass, thus no “weight”, their gravitational pull is so great that they eat stars and not even the light escapes. The only problem is this; no one has actually seen a black hole with his or her own two eyes. We have detected them based upon mathematics and theory, yet they are not really a physical object, rather a paradox of logic of and existence. Yet it is a scientifically proven and accepted fact that, yes indeed, black holes do exist.

I stand in a circle of power and I can feel my own energy. Seven nodes of light are mine, my chakras. I balance these energy centers and grow roots to ground. I feel the power, center my energy, and begin to raise power, attuning into the mighty torrent of Divine energy, spiritual energy. I focus my will into this power, this mighty and ever increasingly growing ball of energy, programming it with my intent. The time is right and my focus changes, I now direct this energy onto situation I am trying to better. I feel exhausted and must rest, but the wisdom gained from the brief communion with My Gods and the knowledge that the situation will be changed make a joy rather than a burden. I rest and I wait. Within weeks the situation begins to change, shaping itself to outcome, if not the imagined manifestation, of my will.

Everyone has this ability. Faith or faithless, it does not matter, for energy is energy, and energy is that which can be neither created nor destroyed. It is our Faith in our spiritual connection, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan, or even in the all-mighty spirit of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that everyone can experience it, we can’t see it but we can feel it and its effects. X-Rays were accidentally discovered in 1895, but in 1894, or 4 for that matter, If a person were to be exposed to high doses of X-Ray radiation, that person would be just as dead whether X-Rays were “real” or not.

We Are Spirits In A Material World and Other Law Enforcement Sayings

I really like the name of that song, because we are Spirits in a Material world. Science is the study of the world of the physical and learning the secrets of how things work in order to make newer and better things. Magick is the study of the world of Spirit, of energy, and learning the secrets of how to manipulate the physical world through the spiritual. It is impossible to find a person who has not had a spiritual experience, for a spiritual experience is not the same religious experience. The brief moment of peace and feeling of oneness with the local park during your morning jog is a spiritual experience. The feeling of love and acceptance from a parent while you were very young, all these are spiritual experiences as well.

Even the most devout science-loving atheist, who believes in nothing but the physical, has had the same or similar experiences. Some people are afraid of the spiritual while others disregard it. Regardless, Atheists, Christians, and Wiccans choose their own paths and personal beliefs based upon whatever makes that spiritual connection for them. So, if it can’t be quantified and personal experience is not scientifically acceptable, where can the materialist look to find some proof of Spirit? Something that is real will leave an impact on the physical world, the world of measurement, while something that is unreal, will leave no mark for it does not exist.

There is a way in which to see firsthand the mark that Faith has had upon the world. Look to Egypt, the great Pharaohs and their great tombs, built so long ago that their civilization has passed beneath the sands of time into myth. Their monuments remain, those great tombs, standing tall and proud amidst the stinging erosion of flying desert sand. We look to these monuments of our ancient brethren with awe and wonder, amazed by the incredible precision and craftsmanship involved in an age of bronze, stone, leather, and rope.

Look now to the people of Israel, the people of God, a group whose faith, whose belief in their spirituality runs so deep, that it predates the pyramids. For over two thousand years of recorded history the Jewish people have been repeating the tale of their enslavement in Egypt, where they were used to build pyramids. The official judgment is mixed, because there were some Hebrew names that were involved in the pyramids, but in any case just remember that at the time of the pyramids, the people of Israel were plentiful.

Today, the pyramids have cracked, crumbled, fallen, and deteriorated from the time of their construction. Some of these great tombs have vanished below the sands of time, leaving no mark of their existence. Israel is a nation once again, for its history is turbulent but infinite. While the Pyramids are aging and falling, and time is taking its cruel toll on them moment by moment, the Jewish faith is still alive, well, and having babies! Their culture is still largely intact and their faith still runs as deep as ever before. From slavery to power to genocide to being scattered, the people of this faith are what keep the faith strong.

Mass and Energy – Science and Spirit

Which is stronger, Material or Faith? Stone and steel are the tools of the material world, which are those things that can be created and destroyed. Energy, Thought, and Will are the tools of the spiritual world, which are those things that cannot be created or destroyed; however, they can still manipulate the material world. Which is stronger, the stone or the soul? Which of the two choices takes more courage; to grow and transform into something better or to be that which simply is and always will be until it is ground into dust?

As a race, we have evolved from the feral animals of our forefathers, to a deeply spiritual people rooted in nature. We then moved from the realm of spirit to the realm of science, where human understanding blossomed. Spirituality and science are not mutually exclusive, so as one blossoms, the other withers. It is time for humanity to take the blinders off and see the many beautiful vistas that await us. Leonardo da Vinci knew his helicopter would fly, just as his submarine would work along with his tank and his glider. He didn’t have to even build them but I’m sure that Leo knew that one day his ideas of fantasy would be manifested into reality.

Blessed Be,

-Phoenix Forestsong


Footnotes:
-Stars tell the age of the pyramids, researcher says:
Alex Dominguez – Associated Press Writer posted: 11:18 am ET 17 November 2000

The Goddess Isis

The Goddess Isis

Isis or in original more likely Aset (Ancient Greek: Ἶσις) was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the matron of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Isis is the goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility.

The goddess Isis (the mother of Horus) was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the goddess of the Overarching Sky, and was born on the fourth intercalary day. At some time Isis and Hathor had the same headdress. In later myths about Isis, she had a brother, Osiris, who became her husband, and she then was said to have conceived Horus. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Seth. Her magical skills restored his body to life after she gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. This myth became very important in later Egyptian religious beliefs.

Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children from whom all beginnings arose. In later times, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of her tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. This occurrence of his death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era.

Origin Of The Name

The name “Isis” is an anglicized version of the Greek version of her name, which itself changed the original Egyptian name spelling by the addition of a last “-s” because of the grammatical requirements of Greek endings.

The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant “(She of the) Throne.” The true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain, however, because hieroglyphs do not have vowels. Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages (specifically, Greek) and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *Usat [*ˈʔyːsəʔ]. Osiris’s name—that is, *Usir ‘Osiris’ (ws-ỉr) also starts with the throne glyph ʔs (“-s”). The name survived in Coptic dialects as Ēse or Ēsi, as well as in compound words surviving in names of later people such as “Har-si-Ese”, which means “Horus, son of Isis”.

For convenience, Egyptologists arbitrarily choose to pronounce her name as “ee-set”. Sometimes they may also say “ee-sa” because the final “t” in her name was a feminine suffix, which is known to have been dropped in speech during the last stages of the Egyptian language.

The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power, as the pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. Her cult was popular throughout Egypt, but the most important sanctuaries were at Behbeit El-Hagar in the Nile delta, in Lower Egypt and, beginning in the reign with Nectanebo I (380-362 BCE), on the Upper Egyptian island of Philae.

Early History

Her origins are uncertain, but are believed to have come from the Nile Delta. Like other Egyptian deities she did have a centralized Cult of Isis (New cults) in the Hellenistic Civilization. First mentions of Isis date back to the Fifth dynasty of Egypt which is when the first literary inscriptions are found, but her cult became prominent late in Egyptian history, when it began to absorb the cults of many other goddesses with strong cult centers. This is when the cult of Osiris arose and she became such an important figure in those beliefs. Her cult eventually spread outside Egypt.

During the formative centuries of Christianity, the religion of Isis drew converts from every corner of the Roman Empire. In Italy itself, the Egyptian faith was a dominant force. At Pompeii, archaeological evidence reveals that Isis played a major role. In Rome, temples were built and obelisks erected in her honour. In Greece, traditional centres of worship in Delos, Delphi, and Eleusis were taken over by followers of Isis, and this occurred in northern Greece and Athens as well. Harbours of Isis were to be found on the Arabian Sea and the Black Sea. Inscriptions show followers in Gaul, Spain, Pannonia, Germany, Arabia, Asia Minor, Portugal and many shrines even in Britain.

Temples

Most Egyptian deities first appeared as very local cults and throughout their history retained those local centres of worship, with most major cities and towns widely known as the home of these deities. Isis originally was an independent and popular deity established in predynastic times, prior to 3100 BC, at Sebennytos in the northern delta.

Eventually temples to Isis began to spread outside of Egypt. In many locations, devotees of Isis considered a number of the local goddesses to be Isis, but under different names. The worship of Isis was joined to that of other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, Aphrodite, and more. During the Hellenic era, due to her attributes as a protector and mother, as well as a lusty aspect gained when she absorbed some aspects of Hathor, she became the patron goddess of sailors, who spread her worship with the trading ships circulating the Mediterranean Sea.

Likewise, the Arabian goddess Al-Ozza or Al-Uzza العُزّى (al ȝozza), whose name is close to that of Isis, is believed to be a manifestation of her. This, however, is thought to be based on the similarity in the name.

Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, Isis became one of the most significant of the mystery religions, and many classical writers refer to her temples, cults, and rites.

Temples to Isis were built in Iraq, Greece and Rome, with a well preserved example discovered in Pompeii. On the Greek island of Delos a Doric Temple of Isis was built on a high over-looking hill at the beginning of the Roman period to venerate the familiar trinity of Isis, the Alexandrian Serapis and Harpocrates. The creation of this temple is significant as Delos is particularly known as the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo who had temples of their own on the island long before the temple to Isis was built. At Philae her worship persisted until the 6th century, long after the rise of Christianity and the subsequent suppression of paganism. The cult of Isis and Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD on the island of Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) to destroy all pagan temples was not enforced there until the time of Justinian. This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and Diocletian. Every year they visited Elaphantine and at certain intervals took the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes for oracular purposes before returning it. Justinian sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople. Philae was the last of the ancient Egyptian temples to be closed.

Associations

Due to the association between knots and magical power, a symbol of Isis was the tiet or tyet (meaning welfare/life), also called the Knot of Isis, Buckle of Isis, or the Blood of Isis, which is shown to the right. In many respects the tyet resembles an ankh, except that its arms point downward, and when used as such, seems to represent the idea of eternal life or resurrection. The meaning of Blood of Isis is more obscure, but the tyet often was used as a funerary amulet made of red wood, stone, or glass, so this may simply have been a description of the appearance of the materials used.

The star Sopdet (Sirius) is associated with Isis. The appearance of the star signified the advent of a new year and Isis was likewise considered the goddess of rebirth and reincarnation, and as a protector of the dead. The Book of the Dead outlines a particular ritual that would protect the dead, enabling travel anywhere in the underworld, and most of the titles Isis holds signify her as the goddess of protection of the dead.

Probably due to assimilation with the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus, during the Roman period, the rose was used in her worship. The demand for roses throughout the empire turned rose production into an important industry.

Mythology

When seen as the deification of the wife of the pharaoh in later myths, the prominent role of Isis was as the assistant to the deceased pharaoh. Thus she gained a funerary association, her name appearing over eighty times in the Pyramid Texts, and she was said to be the mother of the four deities who protected the canopic jars—more specifically, Isis was viewed as protector of the liver-jar-deity, Imsety. This association with the pharaoh’s wife also brought the idea that Isis was considered the spouse of Horus (once seen as her child), who was protector, and later the deification of the pharaoh. By the Middle Kingdom, the 11th through 14th dynasties between 2040 and 1640 BC, as the funeral texts began to be used by more members of Egyptian society, other than the royal family, her role also grows to protect the nobles and even the commoners

By the New Kingdom, the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties between 1570 and 1070 BC, Isis gained prominence as the mother and protector of the pharaoh. During this period, she is said to breastfeed the pharaoh and often is depicted doing so.

The role of her name and her throne-crown is uncertain. Some early Egyptologists believed that being the throne-mother was Isis’s original function, however, a more modern view states that aspects of that role came later by association. In many African tribes, the throne is known as the mother of the king, and that concept fits well with either theory, possibly giving insight into the thinking of ancient Egyptians.

*Sister-wife to Osiris

In the Old Kingdom, the 3rd Dynasty through to the 6th Dynasty dated between 2686 to 2134 BC, the pantheons of individual Egyptian cities varied by region. During the 5th dynasty, Isis became one of the Ennead of the city of Heliopolis. She was believed to be a daughter of Nut and Geb, and sister to Osiris, Nephthys, and Set. The two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, often were depicted on coffins, with wings outstretched, as protectors against evil. As a funerary deity, she was associated with Osiris, lord of the underworld (Duat), and was considered his wife.

A later mythology (ultimately a result of the replacement of another deity, Anubis, of the underworld when the cult of Osiris gained more authority), tells us of the birth of Anubis. The tale describes how Nephthys was denied a child by Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to seduce him. The plot failed, but Osiris now found Nephthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They coupled, resulting in the birth of Anubis. Alternatively, Nephthys had intentionally assumed the form of Isis in order to trick Osiris into fathering her son. In fear of Set’s retribution upon them, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out and kill the child. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he becomes a son of Osiris), and why he could not inherit Osiris’s position (he was not a legitimate heir in this new birth scenario), neatly preserving Osiris’s position as lord of the underworld. It should be remembered, however, that this new myth was only a later creation of the Osirian cult who wanted to depict Set in an evil position, as the enemy of Osiris.

In another Osirian myth, Set had a banquet for Osiris in which he brought in a beautiful box and said that whoever could fit in the box perfectly would get to keep it. Set had measured Osiris in his sleep and made sure that he was the only one who could fit the box. Several tried to see whether they fit. Once it was Osiris’s turn to see if he could fit in the box, Set closed the lid on him so that the box was now a coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away. Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial. She found the box in a tree in Byblos, a city along the Phoenician coast, and brought it back to Egypt, hiding it in a swamp. But Set went hunting that night and found the box. Enraged, Set chopped Osiris’s body into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt to ensure that Isis could never find Osiris again for a proper burial. Isis and her sister Nephthys went looking for these pieces, but could only find thirteen of the fourteen. Fish had swallowed the last piece, his phallus, so Isis made him a new one with magic, putting his body back together after which they conceived Horus. The number of pieces is described on temple walls variously as fourteen and sixteen, and occasionally forty-two, one for each nome or district.

A later mythology (ultimately a result of the replacement of another deity, Anubis, of the underworld when the cult of Osiris gained more authority), tells us of the birth of Anubis. The tale describes how Nephthys was denied a child by Set and disguised herself as the much more attractive Isis to seduce him. The plot failed, but Osiris now found Nephthys very attractive, as he thought she was Isis. They coupled, resulting in the birth of Anubis. Alternatively, Nephthys had intentionally assumed the form of Isis in order to trick Osiris into fathering her son. In fear of Set’s retribution upon them, Nephthys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, so that Set would not find out and kill the child. The tale describes both why Anubis is seen as an underworld deity (he becomes a son of Osiris), and why he could not inherit Osiris’s position (he was not a legitimate heir in this new birth scenario), neatly preserving Osiris’s position as lord of the underworld. It should be remembered, however, that this new myth was only a later creation of the Osirian cult who wanted to depict Set in an evil position, as the enemy of Osiris.

In another Osirian myth, Set had a banquet for Osiris in which he brought in a beautiful box and said that whoever could fit in the box perfectly would get to keep it. Set had measured Osiris in his sleep and made sure that he was the only one who could fit the box. Several tried to see whether they fit. Once it was Osiris’s turn to see if he could fit in the box, Set closed the lid on him so that the box was now a coffin for Osiris. Set flung the box in the Nile so that it would drift far away. Isis went looking for the box so that Osiris could have a proper burial. She found the box in a tree in Byblos, a city along the Phoenician coast, and brought it back to Egypt, hiding it in a swamp. But Set went hunting that night and found the box. Enraged, Set chopped Osiris’s body into fourteen pieces and scattered them all over Egypt to ensure that Isis could never find Osiris again for a proper burial. Isis and her sister Nephthys went looking for these pieces, but could only find thirteen of the fourteen. Fish had swallowed the last piece, his phallus, so Isis made him a new one with magic, putting his body back together after which they conceived Horus. The number of pieces is described on temple walls variously as fourteen and sixteen, and occasionally forty-two, one for each nome or district.

* Assimilation of Hathor

When the cult of Ra rose to prominence he became associated with the similar deity, Horus. Hathor had been paired with Ra in some regions and when Isis began to be paired with Ra, soon Hathor and Isis began to be merged in some regions also as, Isis-Hathor.

*Mother of Horus

By merging with Hathor, Isis became the mother of Horus, rather than his wife, and thus, when beliefs of Ra absorbed Atum into Atum-Ra, it also had to be taken into account that Isis was one of the Ennead, as the wife of Osiris. It had to be explained how Osiris, however, who (as lord of the dead) being dead, could be considered a father to Horus, who was not considered dead. This conflict in themes led to the evolution of the idea that Osiris needed to be resurrected, and therefore, to the Legend of Osiris and Isis, of which Plutarch’s Greek description written in the 1st century AD, De Iside et Osiride, contains the most extensive account known today.

Yet another set of late myths detail the adventures of Isis after the birth of Osiris’s posthumous son, Horus. Isis was said to have given birth to Horus at Khemmis, thought to be located on the Nile Delta. Many dangers faced Horus after birth, and Isis fled with the newborn to escape the wrath of Set, the murderer of her husband. In one instance, Isis heals Horus from a lethal scorpion sting; she also performs other miracles in relation to the cippi, or the plaques of Horus. Isis protected and raised Horus until he was old enough to face Set, and subsequently, became the pharaoh of Egypt.

* Magic

In order to resurrect Osiris for the purpose of having the child Horus, it was necessary for Isis to “learn” magic (which long had been her domain before the cult of Ra arose), and so it was said that Isis tricked Ra (i.e. Amun-Ra/Atum-Ra) into telling her his “secret name,” by causing a snake to bite him, for which only Isis had the cure. The names of deities were secret and not divulged to any but the religious leaders. Knowing the secret name of a deity enabled one to have power of the deity. That he would use his “secret name” to “survive” implies that the serpent had to be a more powerful deity than Ra. The oldest deity known in Egypt was Wadjet, the Egyptian cobra, whose cult never was eclipsed in Ancient Egyptian religion. As a deity from the same region, she would have been a benevolent resource for Isis. The use of secret names became central in late Egyptian magic spells, and Isis often is implored to “use the true name of Ra” in the performance of rituals. By the late Egyptian historical period, after the occupations by the Greeks and the Romans, Isis became the most important and most powerful deity of the Egyptian pantheon because of her magical skills. Magic is central to the entire mythology of Isis, arguably more so than any other Egyptian deity.

Prior to this late change in the nature of Egyptian religion, the rule of Ma’at had governed the correct actions for most of the thousands of years of Egyptian religion, with little need for magic. Thoth had been the deity who resorted to magic when it was needed. The goddess which held the quadruple roles of healer, protector of the canopic jars, protector of marriage, and goddess of magic previously had been Serket. She then became considered an aspect of Isis. Thus it is not surprising that Isis had a central role in Egyptian magic spells and ritual, especially those of protection and healing. In many spells, she also is completely merged even with Horus, where invocations of Isis are supposed to involve Horus’s powers automatically as well. In Egyptian history the image of a wounded Horus became a standard feature of Isis’s healing spells, which typically invoked the curative powers of the milk of Isis. (Silverman, Ancient Egypt, 135)

In Egypt

Isis was venerated first in Egypt. Isis was the only goddess worshiped by all Egyptians alike, and whose influence was so widespread that she had become completely syncretic with the Greek goddess Demeter. After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter, Isis eventually became known as Queen of Heaven.

*Greco-Roman world

Following the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great the worship of Isis spread throughout the Graeco-Roman world. Tacitus writes that after Julius Caesar’s assassination, a temple in honour of Isis had been decreed; Augustus suspended this, and tried to turn Romans back to the Roman deities who were closely associated with the state. Eventually the Roman emperor Caligula abandoned the Augustan wariness toward what was described as oriental cults, and it was in his reign that the Isiac festival of the Navigium Isidis was established in Rome. According to Josephus, Caligula donned female garb and took part in the mysteries he instituted, and in the Hellenistic age Isis acquired a “new rank as a leading goddess of the Mediterranean world.” Vespasian, along with Titus, practised incubation in the Roman Iseum. Domitian built another Iseum along with a Serapeum. Trajan appears before Isis and Horus, presenting them with votive offerings of wine, in a bas-relief on his triumphal arch in Rome. Hadrian decorated his villa at Tibur with Isiac scenes. Galerius regarded Isis as his protectress

Roman perspectives on cults were syncretic, seeing in new deities, merely local aspects of a familiar one. For many Romans, Egyptian Isis was an aspect of Phrygian Cybele, whose orgiastic rites were long-naturalized at Rome, indeed, she was known as Isis of Ten Thousand Names.

Among these names of Roman Isis, Queen of Heaven is outstanding for its long and continuous history. Herodotus identified Isis with the Greek and Roman goddesses of agriculture, Demeter and Ceres.

In later years, Isis also had temples throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BC, found in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia, is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10 denars banknote, issued in 1996.

The male first name “Isidore” (also “Isador”), means in Greek “Gift of Isis” (similar to “Theodore”, “God’s Gift”). The name, which became common in Roman times, survived the suppression of the Isis worship and remains popular up to the present – being among others the name of several Christian saints.