Who is Isis in Egyptian mythology?

Print anything with Printful

Isis is an Egyptian goddess of fertility, the dead, and healing. She is associated with the moon and is Osiris’ sister and wife. She resurrected Osiris and gave birth to Horus. Isis was also worshiped in Greece and Rome, and her story may have influenced the story of Mary and Christ in Christianity.

In Egyptian mythology, Isis is the goddess of fertility. She is also a guardian of the dead and supposedly has powerful magical abilities, including the ability to heal people. Historically, the goddess was often associated with the moon, which sometimes appeared in representations of her, typically held in a headdress that also included a cow’s horns.

According to legend, Isis was once mortal, but tricked the sun god Ra into giving her some of his powers. She is also described as Osiris’ sister, as well as his wife. Her name ‘Isis’ means ‘Queen of the Throne’, linking her to Osiris as her ruler, and in some representations of her she wears an empty throne as a headdress, symbolizing the severed bond between her and Osiris.

The best known tale about Isis concerns the death and resurrection of Osiris. According to legend, Osiris was murdered by his brother Set and brought back to life by Isis so that the two could have a son, Horus. Horus was hidden until he reached adulthood so that he could take his revenge on Set, while Osiris was torn apart by Set in a fit of rage. Although the goddess was able to reunite her husband and bring him back to life, he was officially considered dead and sent to the underworld.

Many statues of Isis show her nursing or holding the infant Horus, reinforcing her role as goddess of fertility, and in some regions she was also worshiped as goddess of childbirth. In addition to being the goddess of fertility, she was also one of the goddesses who cared for the dead, healing the canopic jar that contains the liver, and was seen more generally as a goddess of protection and defense because she watched over the died.

Besides being worshiped in Egypt, Isis was also a cult figure in Greece and Rome. Cults of Isis made their way into Greece around the 3rd century BC and reached Rome not long after. These cults often recited the story of Isis and Osiris each year, as a symbol of rebirth and fertility, and by all accounts, their rituals were quite raucous. The cult lasted until the sixth century CE, although such cults had largely been eliminated by then.

Some people have suggested that the story of Isis has some ties to the story of Mary and Christ in Christianity, and it is possible that the early Christians were influenced by the myths. Certainly, both are mother figures, and some forced converts may have found comfort in seeing Mary as a version of Isis.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content