Mistress of Magic and Goddess of rebirth (see Egyptian Mythology). Her emblem is a throne. She is one of the most famous Goddesses of ancient Egypt. She was worshiped throughout the Middle East and in Europe till late in the 6th century CE. There was a temple of Isis on the river Thames near today's London. She was worshiped as a loving wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. She had great magical powers. Part of this was due to the fact that she managed to obtain the secret name of Ra. To obtain Ra's secret name, she made a venomous reptile out of dust, mixed with the spittle of the God, by uttering over it certain magical words of power. She made the reptile bite Ra as he passed by. When she succeeded to obtain the secret name of Ra, which he revealed only because he was on the point of death, she uttered magical words which drove the poison from Ra's body, and Ra recovered. Now Isis not only knew the words of Power, but also knew how to pronounce them so that the beings or things to which they were addressed would be compelled to listen and be obliged to fulfill the demands. She especially had power over Ra since she knew his secret name.
She is usually shown with the horns of a cow with the sun disk between the horns, or as a winged goddess. Her representations can be distinguished from Hathor by the presence of the symbol of a throne, either on top of the sun disk or in nearby hieroglyphs. She usually carries an Ankh in one hand, the symbol of eternal life.
Relief of Isis (winged Goddess) on the sacred boat during her annual voyage to visit Osiris. (753k) Relief of Isis (right) watching the fight between Horus (center), and Seth (as a hippo below) in the Temple of Horus in Edfu. (700k) Relief of Isis, here shown as a cat (center), Horus (center right) with his son (right, holding the Was scepter), a Pharaoh (center), Nut (left of the Pharaoh, with horns and a Sun disk), and Thoth (left) in the Temple of Kom Ombo. (771k) Relief of Isis (right) and her husband/brother Osiris (center, holding the Was scepter) in the Temple of Kom Ombo. (710k) A different view of Isis, seated with her symbol on her head in the Temple of Kom Ombo. (768k) Relief of Isis (or Ma'at) in the Temple of Kom Ombo. This shows her as the Winged Goddess. On the right is Apis, the Sacred Bull. (1099k) Relief of Isis (right) and Sekhmet (left), both holding a Papyrus in the Temple of Kom Ombo. Try to find Isis' symbol that identifies her. (852k) Close-up of a relief of Isis in the Temple of Kom Ombo. Note the colors that are over two thousand years old. (1176k) Relief of Isis, nursing her son Horus in the Philae Temple of Isis. (844k) Relief of Isis, shown as a woman with wings and the horns of a cow with the sun disk, in the Philae Temple of Isis. (634k) Relief of Isis (right), with her husband/brother Osiris (left), in the Philae Temple of Isis. (695k) Relief of Isis (left), recognizable by the throne on her head, with Hathor (right), in the Philae Temple of Isis. (789k) Symbol of Isis, a throne. Look for this sign either on her head or in the hieroglyphs around her to identify her as Isis, rather than Hathor. (765k) Beautiful painting inside the Queens Temple of Abu Simbel of the Goddesses Isis (right) and Hathor (left) blessing the Queen. (714k)