Isis-Ma’at, Lady of Truth

Isis-Ma’at, Lady of Truth

Posted by: Isidora | April 6, 2014

maat

As I am sure you know, Ma’at is the Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Universal Order, and Right. The ideas related to Her form the core of the ancient Egyptian conception of the way things should be. Ma’at was considered to be the very food of the Goddesses and Gods. Ma’at explained the relationships between humanity and the Divine. Ma’at was natural law and social law. Ma’at was not only justice, but also fairness and even kindness toward one another. Ideally, the king who ruled Egypt, the viziers who advised the king, the judges who made decisions that affected the people, and the people themselves all operated under the laws of Ma’at. If they did, peace and plenty and Divine favor would reign in the land.
Isis, too, is associated with these ideals and sometimes Ma’at is assimilated with Isis. The Osirian Hall of Judgment is also known as the Hall of the Two Truths. Twin Goddesses, the Ma’ati (the Two Truths), presided over it. Very often, the Ma’ati were specifically identified as Isis and Nephthys. (As an aside, I have always found the idea of the Judgment Hall being the place of Two Truths to be a particularly wise concept; there are always at least two sides to any story and both are likely to be true—from the perspective of each participant.)The quintessential symbol of Ma’at is the shut, the ostrich plume that represents the “lightness” and all-pervading, airy nature of Truth and Right. It is against the Feather of Truth that the heart of the deceased is weighed during the post mortum judgment before Osiris. The 42 Assessors Who witness the judgment each hold a Ma’at feather. Following a successful judgment, and as an attestation of her truthfulness, the deceased was sometimes shown wearing Ma’at feathers upon her head and suspended from her wrists and arms.

isis

Without Her twin, Isis was identified with Ma’at’s singular form. The Coffin Texts tell us that Isis comes before the deceased as Ma’at. An inscription at Denderah says that Isis the Great is not only Mother of the God, but also Ma’at in Denderah. Plutarch records a tradition that points to an identification of Isis with Ma’at  (“Justice”) in Hermopolis. He writes, “that is why they call the leader of the muses in the city of Hermes at once Isis and Justice, since she is wise…” One scholar has suggested that this Hermopolitan ennead of Muses might have consisted of Isis-Ma’at, Isis-Hathor, and the Seven Hathors.

The Two Truths in the Judgment Hall weigh the heart of the deceased against Truth, Ma'at.

Isis has always been considered a wise Goddess. A Turin papyrus tells us, “Isis was a woman wise in speech, her heart more cunning than the millions of men, her utterance was more excellent than the millions of gods, she was more perceptive than millions of glorified spirits. She was not ignorant of anything in heaven or earth.” In this aspect, Isis is called Rekhiet, “the Wise Woman.” One of the titles of Isis of the star, Isis-Sothis, is Rekhit, “Knowledge.” This easily led to Isis’ later identification with Sophia (Gk. “Wisdom”). From his Egyptian studies, Plutarch concluded that Isis is a Goddess “exceptionally wise and a lover of wisdom.”

As time passed, Isis’ reputation as a Goddess of Truth, Rightness, Justice, Wisdom, and Law incresed. The hymns to Isis at Her temple in the Faiyum oasis say that Isis, “taught customs that justice might in some measure prevail” and that She is “a judge with the immortal gods.” The hymn’s author, Isidorus, writes to his Goddess, “You are directing the world of men, looking down on the manifold deeds of the wicked and gazing down on those of the just” and “You witness individual virtue.” Like Demeter, Isis was called Thesmophoros, “Lawgiver.” A number of Greek inscriptions from Delos and one from Athens calls Her Dikaiosyne, “Righteousness” or “Lawfulness.” Others call Her Nemesis, a Greek justice-bringing Goddess. The ancient historian, Diodorus Siculus, records that “Isis also established laws, they say, in accordance with which the people regularly dispense justice to one another and are led to refrain, through fear of punishment, from illegal violence and insolence…”

Green Isis, looking like Ma'at, but you can identify Her by the throne on Her head. She is seated on the glyph for

In almost all of the surviving Isis aretalogies (self-statements), the Goddess affirms Her connection with Ma’at. In the aretalogy from Kyme, Turkey, Isis says of Herself, “I made the right to be stronger than gold or silver. I ordained that the true should be thought good. I devised marriage contracts. I ordained that nothing should be more feared than an oath. I have delivered the plotter of evil against other men into the hands of the one he plotted against. I established penalties for those who practice injustice. I decreed mercy to suppliants. I protect righteous guards. With me the right prevails.” Similar statements are included in other aretalogies including one from Maronea in Greece, which says that Isis “established justice, so that each one of us, just as he by nature endures equal death, may also be able to live in conditions of equality.” In the late Hermetic texts, both Isis an Osiris are known as lawgivers. One such text, the Kore Kosmou, tells us that Isis and Osiris learned the secrets of lawgiving from God and so became lawgivers for humankind.

The words of the Lady of Words of Power are not only words of magic, but also words of Truth and Justice.

P.S. What inspired me for this post was an interesting article by Christopher Faraone and Emily Teeter that opines that the Greek Wisdom Goddess Metis (Who Zeus married then ate (!!!) because He can be a rather jealous God and Metis was destined to bear Him a daughter (again, !!!) Who would be as powerful as Zeus and as wise as Metis, and a son Who would be king of the Gods, and Zeus couldn’t have that) was either directly or indirectly derived from the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at. They argue that 1.) both Metis and Ma’at were understood as concepts and personified Goddesses; 2.) The fact of Zeus “gulping down” Metis may derive from the Egyptian idea that the Deities “lived on” and “ate” Truth (Ma’at); 3.) Both Metis and Ma’at legitimate the kingship; 4.) Just as Egyptian kings had Ma’at names among their coronation names, so Zeus has a number of epithets that include Metis. Interesting, isn’t it?

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https://isiopolis.com/2014/04/06/isis-maat-lady-of-truth/

Please note that all material on this blog is copyright M. Isidora Forrest. Excerpts from Isis Magic, first edition, are copyright 2001, and from Isis Magic, second edition, copyright 2013 by M. Isidora Forrest. Excerpts from Offering to Isis are copyright 2005, M. Isidora Forrest.

Author:

M. Isidora Forrest has been devoted to Isis ever since the Goddess told her, in no uncertain terms, that she was not yet ready to be Her priestess. (Isidora respects a Goddess Who doesn’t coddle.) More than twenty years—and a lot of research, ritual, agony and ecstasy—later, Isidora has earned the title of Prophetess in the House of Isis. She is also a priestess of the international Fellowship of Isis, a Hermetic adept, a maenad for Dionysos, and a founder of the Hermetic Fellowship, a non-profit religious organization devoted to spiritual development through ritual and education in the Western Esoteric Tradition. In addition to Isis Magic, she is the author of Offering to Isis: Knowing the Goddess through Her Sacred Symbols, and a contributor to the Golden Dawn Journal series of books edited by Chic and Tabatha Cicero. Isidora lives and works in the not-at-all-Egypt-like climate of Portland, Oregon with her husband Adam Forrest, a fierce black cat name Korê, and both a Temple of Isis and a grape arbor sacred to Dionysos in the backyard.

Related Isis Posts:

https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/isis-demeter/

https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/isis-oh-golden-one/

Isis Demeter

Isis Demeter

Using the comparative methodology known as interpretatio graeca, the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE) described Isis by comparison with the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mysteries at Eleusis offered initiates guidance in the afterlife and a vision of rebirth. Herodotus says that Isis was the only goddess worshiped by all Egyptians alike. ( Herodotus, Histories. 2.42 and 156. )
After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter, Isis became known as Queen of Heaven. ( R.E Witt, Isis in the Ancient World, 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 ) Other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, and Aphrodite, became identified with Isis, as did the Arabian goddess Al-‘Uzzá through a similarity of name, since etymology was thought to reveal the essential or primordial nature of the thing named. This is particularly characteristic of Stoic philosophy. ( See in general Davide Del Bello, Forgotten Paths: Etymology
and the Allegorical Mindset (Catholic University of America Press, 2007). )

An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BCE, found in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia

An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BCE, found in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia, is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10 Macedonian denar banknote, issued in 1996. “Banknotes in circulation: 10 Denars”. National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Retrieved 20 November 2013.

http://www.upcscavenger.com/wiki/Isis/#page=wiki

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Roman statue of Isis 1st half 2nd CE Naples, Italy

Roman statue of Isis, black and white marble, first half of the second century CE, found in Naples, Italy. Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The Romanization of the Egyptian Isis is complete with her vesture and iconography. Photo by Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons.

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Diodorus of Sicily (first century BCE) was of the opinion that two of the known world’s most ancient deities would also be the most long-lived—Isis, the moon, and Osiris, the sun. To the newly-forming Roman society, sense had to be made of Egypt’s plethora of deities. As per Diodorus, the Greeks would often appropriate the most famous gods and heroes of Egypt.
As was seen a few centuries earlier under Ptolemy I, Isis and Osiris were decreed to be on the top of the hierarchy. Isis was identified with Hera, Selene, Demeter, Artemis, and other major Greek deities. Both Diodorus and Herodotus preserve claims of the Eleusinian and Demeter mysteries as originating from those of Isis. Diodorus even confidently states that the priestly families of Eleusis at Eumolpidae are Egyptian because they are the only Greeks who “swear by Isis.” When Greece came under Roman dominion, the amalgamated Greek Isis would again merge, this time with Roman counterparts.

An Isis Timeline
Katherine Schaefers, M.A.
https://92d8dda75447112de0c1-0e939f13a06bd1dbeb5309286eaa14e5.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/01_schaefers.pdf

(This scholar, makes the mistake of equating a Goddess with the moon, when she was/is a Goddess of the Cosmos).

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Comparing Initiation Rites: Isis and Demeter
http://www.gaiaonline.com/guilds/viewtopic.php?t=13419091

Isis – Oh Golden One

Isis – Oh Golden One

Isis, for Her part, was connected with the star Sirius as far back as the Pyramid Texts; the star was said to be Her ba, or soul. Yet Isis is also linked with the Sun.

As the Sun was the image of one of the most important Gods to the ancient Egyptians, it should not be surprising to find that Isis, one of the most important Goddesses, also has strong solar connections. In some places—notably, Her famous temple at Philae—Isis was worshiped specifically as a Sun Goddess. Among Her solar epithets are Female Re (Re-et) and Female Horus (Horet).

Isis eye of Ra

Isis’ most common solar manifestation is as the Eye of Re, the Uraeus, the Cobra Goddess Who coils upon the Sun God’s brow to protect Him; and Who fights a constant cosmic battle against His great opponent, Apop (Gr. Apophis). An inscription at Philae calls Isis “Neseret [fiery]-serpent on the head of Horus-Re, Eye of Re, the Unique Goddess, Uraeus.” A hymn from Philae calls Her “Eye of Re who has no equal in heaven and on earth.” The Eye of Re is His active power. While He maintains His place in the sky, the solar power—the Eye Goddess—goes forth to manifest His Divine will. In this way, Isis and the other Uraeus Goddesses (such as Nephthys, Wadjet, and Tefnut) are similar to Shakti, the active, feminine Power related to the God Shiva in some Hindu sects. Isis is also one of the Deities Who travels with Re in His solar barque as it moves through the Otherworld. Again, Her function is to protect Him and help battle His foes.

Isis is also associated with the Sun God and the Sun in several of Her important myths. In the tale of Isis and Re, Isis gains power equal to Re’s by learning His secret name, first by poisoning, then by healing the ailing God. In another, with Her magical Words of Power, Isis stops the Boat of the Sun in the sky in order to receive aid for Her poisoned child, Horus.

But it was at Isis’ influential temple at Philae that She was most clearly worshipped as a Sun Goddess and even as the Sun itself. A Philae hymn to Isis praises Her saying, “You are the one who rises and dispels darkness, shining when traversing the primeval ocean, the Brilliant One in the celestial waters, traveling in the barque of Re.” An inscription on the first pylon (gate) at Philae says Isis is the “One Who illumines the Two Lands with Her radiance, and fills the earth with gold-dust.” (I absolutely adore this praise of Her!)

Isis fire glow

Like many other Egyptian Deities, Isis was often envisioned with immortal, golden, solar skin. Some of Her sacred images would have been covered with gold, earning Her, like Hathor, the epithets The Gold and the Golden One. A Philae hymn addresses Her, “O Golden One; Re, the possessor of the Two Lands, will never be far from you.” Some scholars believe that the holy of holies at Philae may have once been gold-leafed so that it always appeared filled with golden, solar light. O how I would love to have seen that.

At Her Philae temple, Isis is first of those in heaven: “Hail to you, Isis, Great of Magic, eldest in the womb of her mother, Nuet, Mighty in Heaven Before Re.” She is the “Sun Goddess in the circuit of the sun disk” and Her radiance outshines even that of Re.

From Her great temple at Philae, Isis’ identity as a Sun Goddess flowed back up the Nile to Her temples at Memphis and Isiopolis in the delta. From there, it entered into the Graeco-Roman culture in the famous aretalogies (self-statements) of Isis. From a papyrus found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, we learn that one of Isis’ many names is Name of the Sun and that She is responsible for the rising of the Sun: “Thou [Isis] bringest the sun from rising unto setting, and all the Gods are glad.” In an aretalogy from Kyme, in modern Turkey, Isis says of Herself, “I ordered the course of the sun and the moon.” And later in the same text She says, “I am in the rays of the sun” and “I inspect the courses of the sun.”

Isis by KateMaxpaint

Isis by KateMaxpaint

A festival calendar from the temple of Edfu records a summer procession of Isis the Brilliant. During that festival, the image of the radiant Goddess was carried among the people in Her sacred boat, coming to rest in Her boat-sanctuary. There, the calendar text tells us “every kind of good thing is offered to her.” Some modern Kemetic Orthodox groups celebrate this as the Aset Luminous Festival. Participants illuminate paper boats with candles and set them adrift to carry worshippers’ prayers to Isis. In accordance with the ancient traditions, offerings are also given to Isis at this time.

Throughout Her worship, Isis has always shown Her life giving, fructifying power in the image of the Sun. She is the Radiant Goddess, the Lady of Sunlight.

Isis Golden

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Modern Pagans often think of Isis as a Moon Goddess. And, it’s true, in later periods of Her worship, She was indeed associated with the Moon—and, in fact, that’s how She entered the Western Esoteric Tradition. The Isis-Moon connection first started when Egypt came under Greek rule in the 3rd century BCE, following the conquest by Alexander the Great. To the Greeks, Goddesses were the lunar Deities, so as Isis made Her way into Greek culture and hearts, Her new devotees naturally associated Her with the Moon.

In Egypt, Osiris, Khons, Thoth, and I’ah were the Deities most associated with the Moon.

Reference:

https://isiopolis.com/2014/05/24/is-isis-a-moon-goddess-or-a-sun-goddess/
https://isiopolis.com/2010/01/17/isis-the-brilliant-one-the-golden-sun-goddess/
https://isiopolis.com/2013/03/02/the-light-of-isis/
https://isiopolis.com/2014/01/11/isis-fire/

Please note that all material on this blog is copyright M. Isidora Forrest. Excerpts from Isis Magic, first edition, are copyright 2001, and from Isis Magic, second edition, copyright 2013 by M. Isidora Forrest. Excerpts from Offering to Isis are copyright 2005, M. Isidora Forrest.

Author:

M. Isidora Forrest has been devoted to Isis ever since the Goddess told her, in no uncertain terms, that she was not yet ready to be Her priestess. (Isidora respects a Goddess Who doesn’t coddle.) More than twenty years—and a lot of research, ritual, agony and ecstasy—later, Isidora has earned the title of Prophetess in the House of Isis. She is also a priestess of the international Fellowship of Isis, a Hermetic adept, a maenad for Dionysos, and a founder of the Hermetic Fellowship, a non-profit religious organization devoted to spiritual development through ritual and education in the Western Esoteric Tradition. In addition to Isis Magic, she is the author of Offering to Isis: Knowing the Goddess through Her Sacred Symbols, and a contributor to the Golden Dawn Journal series of books edited by Chic and Tabatha Cicero. Isidora lives and works in the not-at-all-Egypt-like climate of Portland, Oregon with her husband Adam Forrest, a fierce black cat name Korê, and both a Temple of Isis and a grape arbor sacred to Dionysos in the backyard.

Now enjoy this lovely animation of Isis birthing the Sun by Lesley Keen:

Isis Mistress of Heaven

isis Goddess of the Throne

Isis Mistress of Heaven

In the beginning there was Isis: Oldest of the Old, She was the Goddess from whom all Becoming Arose. She was the Great Lady, Mistress of the two Lands of Egypt, Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of the House of Life, Mistress of the word of God. She was the Unique. In all Her great and wonderful works She was a wiser magician and more excellent than any other God.

Thebes, Egypt, Fourteenth Century BC

http://adishakti.org/_/Great_Goddess_25000_BC.htm#sthash.pod4yjzj.dpuf

Isian Prayer of Awakening / Peace

Isis

 

Prayer to Isis: Prayer of Awakening

                                            Awake, awake, awake,
Nehes em hotep,           Awake in peace,
Nehes em neferu           Lady of Peace.
Nebet hotepet                Rise thou in peace,
Weben em hotep,          Rise thou in beauty.
Weben em nefuru,        Goddess of Life,
Nutjert en Ankh,           Beautiful in heaven,
Nefer em pet!                 Heaven is in peace.
Pet em hotep                  Earth is in peace.
Tu em hotep.                  O Goddess,
Nutjert sat Nut               Daughter of Nut,
Sat Get,                             Daughter of Geb,
Merit Ausar;                    Beloved of Osiris,
Nutjert asha renu!         Goddess rich in names!
Anekh brak.                    All praise to You.
Anekh brak.                    All praise to You.
Tu a atu. Tu a atu.          I adore You. I adore You.

Nebet Aset!                     Lady Isis!

https://sites.google.com/a/smpanthers.org/fulay-6th-period-scripture/home/ancient-egyptian-prayers-and-ritual-worship

http://goddessschool.com/projects/mdfinal2.htm

 

International Women’s Day March 8th

International Women’s Day March 8th

Poster International Women's Day 2014 by Giovannina Colalillo

Poster International Women’s Day 2014 by Giovannina Colalillo

International Women’s Day has been held on 8 March every year since 1913, and has been recognised by the United Nations since 1975.

The UN says it’s a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The theme of this year’s day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030” – aiming to achieve global equality in areas such as education and end all forms of discrimination.

International-Womens-Day-2016-Theme-3

The symbol used for women, the circle above the cross is the astronomical symbol for the planet Venus which shows Venus’ hand mirror very similar to the ankh sign.

“The written symbols for Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn have been traced to forms found in late Greek papyri.
According to A. S. D. Maunder, antecedents of the planetary symbols were used in art to represent the gods associated with the classical planets; Bianchini’s planisphere, produced in the 2nd century, shows Greek personifications of planetary gods charged with early versions of the planetary symbols: … Venus has, attached to her necklace, a cord connected to another necklace…”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_symbols

venus

The Ankh

The ankh, also known as breath of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning “cross with a handle”), was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read “life”, a triliteral sign for the consonants Ayin-Nun-Het.

The literal meaning is Eternal Life.

The origin of the symbol remains a mystery to Egyptologists, and no single hypothesis has been widely accepted.
E. A. Wallis Budge postulated that the symbol originated as the belt buckle of the mother goddess Isis,[4] an idea joined by Wolfhart Westendorf[citation needed] with the notion that both the ankh and the knot of Isis were used in many ceremonies.

The ankh symbol was so prevalent that it has been found in digs as far as Mesopotamia and Persia, and even on the seal of the biblical king Hezekiah.

A symbol similar to the ankh appears frequently in Minoan and Mycenaean sites[where?]. This is a combination of the sacral knot (symbol of holiness) with the double-edged axe (symbol of matriarchy)[7] but it can be better compared with the Egyptian tyet which is similar.

The ankh also appeared frequently in coins from ancient Cyprus and Asia Minor (particularly the city of Mallus in Cilicia).[10] In some cases, especially with the early coinage of King Euelthon of Salamis, the letter ku, from the Cypriot syllabary, appeared within the circle ankh, representing Ku(prion) (Cypriots). To this day, the ankh is also used to represent the planet Venus (the namesake of which, the goddess Venus or Aphrodite, was chiefly worshipped on the island) and the metal copper (the heavy mining of which gave Cyprus its name).

Coptic Christians preserved the shape of the ankh by sometimes representing the Christian cross with a circle in place of the upper bar. This is known as the Coptic ankh or crux ansata.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankh

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My life partner wears his ankh to symbolise the feminine Cosmic energy from which everything derives.

 

Vintage Egyptian Ankh

Egyptian Ankh Pendant

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Canticle of the Great Mother, She Who Is.

Copywrite of the Matriarch of the Janite Deanic Ekklasia, ArchMadria (Bishop) Pamela

O, Great Mother, Divine Bliss, Nature of Conscious Life,

Through Your Luminous Darkness; all symbols are revealed,

Through Your Shimmering Brightness; all secrets are unsealed.

O, Great Mother, Divine Joy, Matrix of Cosmic Light,

Through Your Sheltering Mantle; our true souls are guarded,

Through Your Fiery Rose Heart; our spirits are warded.

O, Great Mother, Divine Peace, Dawning of Purest Love,

Through Your onrushing Waters; all Graces are streaming,

Through Your out-pouring Essence; all Mercies are teeming.

O, Great Mother, Divine Force, Prism of Silver Rays,

Through Your Radiant Stillness; all Colors are living.

Through Your Supernal Glory; all Geniae are giving.

O, Great Mother, Divine Bliss, Nature of Conscious Life,

Through Your Luminous Darkness; all symbols are revealed,

Through Your Shimmering Brightness; all secrets are unsealed.

Blessed is She.