The White Moon Gallery Presents

 The Universal Goddess
by Morgana Ravenwing

Winged Isis

    As I sat staring out the window contemplating writing this, I questioned aloud "Great Mother Isis, who are you?". The following came flooding down into my spirit:

Isis image from the papyrus of Hunefer
"I am your sister Isis" - from the papyrus of Hunefer

    I am She who was from the beginning and who IS at the end of time. You have known me since your conception and it is to me you will return when your spirit leaves the mortal body. I am Hathor. I am Demeter.I am Bast. I am Mary. I am the Black Madonna. I am the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names. I am the Living One, many-named, many-formed. I am Isis, Mistress of the World, Mother of the Gods. Come to me when you are weary and tired. I shall wrap my wings around you and restore you as I restored Osiris. And from my restoration, new and holy life shall spring forth. Bringing you to a new place, nourishing you. I am Gentle. I am the Giver of Life. I am the Goddess of all Goddesses. I am Abundance and Joy. I am Justice and Light. I am Love, Peace and Life itself. Come to me. Sit upon my Holy Lap and receive my nourishment. I will fill you completely. I am the Great Mother, worshiped in all lands under many different names. But for those who know, I am Isis Thiouis (the only one), and I AM."

    This is the wonder of Isis.  This is the reason She has been worshiped for millennia.  Isis is known as "Epekoos"--She who not only hears but RESPONDS to the prayers and needs of Her people.  A relationship with Isis is never one-sided.  It is always reciprocal.  She speaks to Her people through dreams, omens, words and a variety of other ways.  She calls Her followers, one by one.  All who follow Isis to this day have a story to tell of how She came to them, calling them.  For me, it was the Eye Of Ra appearing in my bedroom as a child, followed by dream after dream of cats.  Yes, Isis calls, Isis hears and Isis responds.  Isis IS.

    One of the greatest aspects of Isis is that of "Lady of the Green Plants".  She is said to dwell in every green thing.  According to Egyptian mythology, it was Isis and Osiris that put an end to cannibalism by bringing the knowledge of agriculture to the people.  It was She who understood about the seed being within the fruit, and Osiris understood the idea of planting it in the earth.  Isis came to be called "Karpophoros"--Grain-Carrying, and "Karpotokos"--Grain-Bearer.

Winged Isis

     The Greeks considered Isis to be Demeter.  Herodotus believed them to both be manifestations of the same Goddess, while Diodorus states "Isis is more similar to Demeter than any other Goddess".  It was believed in the ancient world, as well as today,that the famous Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter were actually Egyptian in origin and that the officiating family at the mysteries was Egyptian.  Herodotus says that the Thesmophoria, an important festival of Demeter, came to Greece from Egypt with only the names of Isis and Demeter being interchanged.

     Isis came to be associated with the inundation of the Nile, and Sirius, the star that heralds the inundation.  A Ptolemaic text from Denderah says that Isis was born a "black and ruddy woman, endowed with life, sweet of love".  When the Nile floods, it leaves its black silt across the land, causing the Earth to be fertile and providing prosperity for the people.  Hence, Isis was considered to be the fertile part of the earth.  She is called the "Lady and desire of green plants" and She Who "makes all people live and the green plants grow".

    Isis was associated with snakes from early on and was in fact, Herself, a Snake Goddess.  In Faiyum She was worshiped as Isis-Thermouthis, and in Alexandria She was known as Agathe Tyche Both are snake headed Goddesses--in these cases, the snake being a Cobra.  Pharaoh wore a Cobra headdress, which was believed to vanquish all foes and protect the Pharaoh by its hypnotizing stare which also caused things to grow.   Aside from being a symbol of eternal life, the snake was also a symbol of prosperity because it guarded the graneries, thus ensuring the prosperity of the people.An altar top, made in Alexandria,  shows Isis seated on her throne and surrounded by crowned snakes.  It was said that her priestesses would walk through rooms of snakes in a test of their faith.  Perhaps if their faith was strong they would not be bitten --or perhaps they wanted to be bitten in order to experience the realms of death as an initiation rite.  It was Isis who fashioned the snake that bit Ra when his power had grown old so that She could receive his name and the magic therein.
Isis with the infant Horus
Isis with the infant Horus

     In order to understand Isis as the Great Magician, it is important to understand magic itself from an Egyptian perspective.  Egypt was known as the "land of magic".  To the ancient Egyptians,magic infused life, religion, nature and medicine.  The Egyptian word that we translate as 'magic' is "heka", and our translation does not do the word justice.  Heka was believed to be the life force itself.  It was in every thing, every person.  It was everywhere.  It was considered to be a semi-physical force that could be moved or directed.  Magic was such a tremendous part of daily life to the ancient Egyptians, that they deified it.  Their God, Heka, was considered to be a personification of the power of Ra.  Magic was inseparable from a relationship with the Deities.  It both required and enabled Union.

     Isis, known as "Great of Magic" to the Egyptians, was so all-encompassing that she was known as "Saviour" to the Greeks.  She was known everywhere for Her magical amulets, words, pictures and names.  In the story of Isis and Ra, the Sun God had gotten so old that he drooled, and everywhere one looked, the earth was barren because Ra had lost his youthfulness and vitality.  Isis knew she had to do something, or the earth and all the people would soon die.  So she fashioned a snake from the spittle of Ra and the earth.  The snake bit Ra, causing him great illness.  He called for Isis to heal him.  She told him that She must know his true name in order to heal him.  He tried to trick Her several times, but finally his misery was so great that he told Her his true name.  Isis spoke the name and Ra was restored, thus restoring vitality to the earth.  Thus Ra learned that he must give himself over to the Goddess in order to heal and restore his vitality.

     This is how Isis came to be associated with Words of Power.  According to the Egyptians, words contained heka, and if said correctly and in the right tone, anything was possible.  Words of Power could heal the sick, restore the dead to life, enable a person to shapeshift.  Even the powers of nature had to obey.  Moses, who it is believed was trained in Egyptian magic, used Words of Power when he spoke to the Red Sea causing the waters to "pile up instead of flowing".  Our use of affirmations today in the modern world can be traced back to Isis and the Egyptian use of Words of Power.

     These words were inscribed on just about everything, but particularly on amulets which just about every Egyptian wore.  However, the most famous amulet associated with Isis was known as the Knot of Isis.  The Knot of Isis looks similar to an ankh, with its arms hanging down.  It symbolizes Isis and Osiris joined together, thus male/female union.  It was made of a semi-precious red stone, usually carnelian or red jasper, and steeped in the water of ankhami flowers, then set in a sycamore plinth.  Words of Power were then inscribed on it, bringing protection by the blood of Isis.  The power lasted as long as the amulet.  It is said that it was Isis who taught humans the art of making magical knots, and that her priestesses could control the weather by braiding and unbraiding their hair.

Ritual for Healing the Earth


Isis, the Great Magician
This ritual is best done outdoors, during a waxing moon, just before sunrise as this is when Sirius is rising.  The best months to perform this ritual are July through early May.  From late May to just after Midsummer, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun and cannot be seen.

You will need:

One foot each of blue and green string
Lapis Lazuli, cleansed and purified
Moonstone, cleansed and purified
8" square of green 100% cotton fabric
A lotus or lily flower
Grains of wheat
Stars (these can be cut out from paper)
A feather
Salt Water
Green candles
Rose incense
Rose oil
string, pen
Hyssop or vervain
Isis knot
I am your sister Isis

Ritual Bath:

Ritual baths, or purification, were very important in the ancient temples of Isis since most of Her priests and priestesses were also doctors.  For our purposes, this bath is to consecrate us and get our thoughts focused on the work ahead.

For this bath, add a handful of hyssop or vervain to a pot of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it sit for about ten minutes.  Draw an ankh above the water.  Strain this "tea" into your bath water.  As you bathe, still your mind from the thoughts of the outside world and focus on your intent.  After your bath, anoint your forehead with rose oil in the sign of the ankh.  Say "Bless me Isis, for I am Your daughter, keeper of Your ways, wielder of Your power."

Now you are ready to set up the Temple of Isis.  Light your candles and incense.  Cast your circle, beginning in the East.  Returning to the East, call in Nekhebet.  This Goddess is the winged Isis in Her vulture aspect.  The Egyptians revered the vulture for it's mothering qualities.  In the South, call in Bast.  Bast is another aspect of Isis.  In ancient Egyptian, this Goddess' name was spelled Ba'Ast, meaning 'soul of Isis'.  In the West, call in Anuket.  This is the water aspect of Isis, Her name meaning 'embracer'.  In the North, call in Demeter, the Greek aspect of Isis. Stand in the center of your newly created Temple, and with your arms spread out at shoulder level, begin the Invocation of Isis.  This posture is often used to invoke Isis, as it is reminiscent of Her spread wings.

I am your sister Isis Invocation of Isis
Great Holy Isis, Mother of all the gods,
I call to Thee.
Thy name is sweet upon my lips.
Lady of the Green Wings
And of the Crescent Moon.
Mistress of the Sea.
Queen of the Earth.
I call to Thee.
Thy beauty engulfs my soul.
Mistress of the Elements
And of All Things Forever.
Eye of Ra.
Embracer of the Land.
Come to me, Isis.
Join me in Your Holy Temple
And empower this rite.
I am your sister Isis

Place your green square of fabric on the altar.  In the center, draw an ankh.  To the left, write "The Blood of Isis" and to the right, write "The Power of Isis".  Lay your power hand over the fabric and say "By the Words of Power of Isis, this cloth is consecrated". Next, anoint your stones with rose oil.  Hold the stones in your hand.  Since ancient times, these stones have been associated with Isis.  Feel their inherent power.  Remember.  Hold the stones up to eye level and say "Holy Isis, Great Physician, fill these stones with Your healing power".  Visualize the stones beginning to glow with a blue light, which is growing continuously brighter.  Lay the stones in the center of the green cloth.  Next, pick up the lotus or lily flower, hold it to eye level and say "Holy Isis, beautiful in all Thy names,  may the Earth blossom always with Your Beauty".  Lay the flower on top of the stones.  Next, sprinkle the grains of wheat on the cloth saying "Isis-Karpotokos, may the plants always yield their bounty to feed your children".  Sprinkle the stars on the cloth while saying "Isis-Sophis, may the stars be favorable for peace and the healing of the earth".  Lay the feather on top, saying "Isis of the Green Wings, wrap your wings around us, protecting us."

Now take up the two strings.  The green string is for healing of the green earth.  The blue string is for peace.  Holding the strings together, begin to tie knots.  On the first knot, ask Nekhebet for healing of the air, pollution to be gone.  On the second knot, ask Bast for healing of the core of the earth and for the sun's rays to reach us as they should.  On the third knot, ask Anuket for the healing of our oceans and waterways. On the fourth knot, ask Demeter for the healing of all the green things and the earth itself.

Continue knotting while chanting:

Bringing peace to all the earth,
With each knot I bring rebirth.

When you feel the power being raised has peaked, tie the ends of the strings together saying "So mote it be".  Place the string on top of the feather.  Sprinkle the entire cloth with salt water.  Fold up the four corners of the cloth and tie them shut with a string.  Thank the Goddesses for joining you and empowering your rite.  Open the circle.  Bury your cloth in the ground, drawing the ankh in the soil on top.

Blessed Be!

Isis with infant Horus Because of Isis
An Ancient Prayer of Praise

Because of Isis, there is a heaven.
Because of Isis, there is an earth.
Because of Isis, the wind blows on the desert.
Because of Isis, the sweet sun shines.
Because of Isis, the river floods in spring.
Because of Isis, the plants bear fruit.
Because of Isis, we live and grow strong.
Because of Isis, we have breath to give thanks.
I am your sister Isis

Roman Prayer to Isis
By Apuleius.

O Holy, Blessed Lady,
Constant comfort to humankind.
Whose beneficience and kindness nourish us all;
And whose care for those in trouble is as a loving Mother
Who cares for all Her children - You are there when we call.
Stretching out Your hand to put aside that which is harmful to us,
Untangling the web of Fate in which we may be caught,
Even stopping the stars if they form a harmful pattern.
All other dieties, whether bountiful or merciless,
Do reverence to Thee.
It is Isis who rules the world; stamping out the powers of evil,
Arranging the stars to give us answers, causing the seasons to come and go.
Commanding the wind to move ships,
Giving the clouds to water the growing seeds,
So that we may have food.
If I had one thousand mouths,
And one thousand tongues within each,
Still I could not do justice to Your majesty.
Yet I will forever remember Your help in my time of need,
And I will keep Your Blessed, Sacred image
Deep within my heart forever.

Copyright 2005 The Order of the White Moon

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8.  All graphics used with permission from

9.  Forrest, M. Isadora. Isis Magic.  St. Paul:  Llewellyn, 2001.

10.  Regula, deTraci.  The Mysteries of Isis: Her Worship and Magick.  St. Paul:  Llewellyn, 2001.
11.  Weinstein, Marion.  Positive Magic: Ancient Metaphysical Techniques for Modern Lives   Custer:  Phoenix Publishing, Inc., 1991.
12.  Fletcher, Joann.  The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying  London:  Duncan Baird Publishers, Ltd., 2002.