- Isis -Child of Earth and Sky -
In the beginning, all was darkness in Nin, the primordial ocean of chaos. And there came a great fire in the heavens and his name was Ra. He created Shu (the air), and Tefnut (the moisture); they in turn created Heaven and Earth. Nut, diaphanous Goddess of the Sky, and Geb, adamantine God of the Earth, were filled with desire for each other, knowing that with the union of the ethereal womb of the heavens and the material seed of the earth, all things might be possible. Ra, master of the cosmos, was envious (and fearful) of the great potential they possessed, and so forbade the union. But they disobeyed his edict and soon came together in a brief but passionate embrace. When Ra learned of their defiance, a consuming rage came upon him, and he ordered Shu to stand eternally between them. To this day, the lonely earth reaches up with desire, seeking to embrace his beloved sky once more.
Ra was to slow, however, and their brief union was fruitful: Nut gave birth to four children - brothers Osiris and Seth, and sisters Isis and Nephthys - who became the four cardinal deities of the cosmos and sovereigns over all therein. Of these four, Isis, Goddess of Life, is quietly supreme. She is the mother of the Eternal Spirit of Egypt: He who wears the mighty pharaohs like a succession of robes - taking them on when they are young and new and replacing them when they are old and worn - for it is ever the same undying soul of Horus behind the eyes of each ruler of the Nile Kingdom.
|Isis is Mistress of the (archaic) Four Elements: terrestrial earth
and water, and celestial wind and fire.
As the living fabric of the fundamental forces of nature, She is
Mother to all living things. It
is Her transforming magic that binds the timelessly still and ethereal
(sky - mind), with the fleetingly active and physical (earth - body) into
the singular miracle of life and natural regeneration.
Isis beckons Geb’s stony bones (earth) upward that Her blood (water)
might flow down to nourish the four corners of the world, and the seeds
of the earth are born upon Her breath (wind) that they might find a home
in the desert, and thereby bring the spark (fire) of new life to that once
desolate place. The efflorescing
natural world, a tiny fragile globe lost in the endless interstellar wastes,
is like the oasis in the desert: it is life and hope and joy and
beauty - where there should be none.
Only the elemental energies of the Goddess that suffuse this place
make it so. The life-and-death-and-life
rhythm of the seasons is the rhythm of the Goddess.
Isis holds next to Her breast the Egyptian symbol known as ankh. The word translates as “life” or “vitality”, but the symbol is also a pictograph of man (head, arms, and body). Isis gently cradling the ankh is the image of Mother and Child. Like all mothers, she struggles to protect Her children - and cannot. As children grow and wander far from their mother’s gentle protection, they must eventually suffer. And like all mothers, Isis suffers the pain of Her children, and suffers in Her helplessness to prevent it.
But a deep, nurturing compassion is also a component of the life-force the She provides to the world. The Mother Goddess beckons us into the mystic center, a still sanctuary of transformation wherein the weary spirit is revivified by Her life-giving benevolence. The infinite mercy of Her beauty, manifest in the glories of nature, is a promise that the great pain and suffering of life - as innate and inescapable as gravity - is for a great and noble purpose. There is, in this ghastly slaughterhouse of misery and death, a reprieve: She ever heals our wounds, replenishes our strength and resolve, fills our hearts with love for our children, and inspires us to stand against the ravenous horrors that ever rise from chaos.
As the physical feminine brings forth physical life, so too does the spiritual feminine bring forth spiritual life. It is through this aspect of the Goddess that we are reborn: not merely physical, but somehow spiritual beings. When one has learned to resonate with and thus unify those divine elemental vibrations of earth and sky (that is, join gross reason with subtle intuition, the primal with the rational, the profane with the sublime), they are invited to fly upon the wings of enlightenment up to the summit of a great pyramid of light upon which awaits the Creator of the cosmos...