Wife of Osiris, the god of renewed life.
Isis was a principal deity throughout Egyptian mythology and adopted
by the Greeks for representing many qualities in their own goddesses.
She was also a teacher of spinning, weaving, healing, and many other
When the chief god, Ra, became old lsis tricked him into telling her
his secret name through which he held his power. She fashioned a snake
which bit the ageing Ra so badly none of the gods were able to help
him. Knowing the nature of the venom, Isis offered to cure him in return
for the knowledge of his secret name.
Despite this, lsis was principally worshipped as a mother goddess and,
with her sister Nephthys, their outstretched wings encompassed and protected
the dead inside their coffin lids and tombs.
There are many stories relating to lsis, Osiris, and Horus their son,
who formed a powerful trinity in Egyptian religion and art.
After Osiris was murdered by Seth, their evil brother, and his dismembered
remains scattered, Isis gathered them up and with many spells, the help
of Anubis, Nephthys and Thoth, restored Osiris sufficiently for him
to father Horus.
Isis is sometimes depicted with a cow’s head, though the cow was
also strongly identified with another goddess, Hathor. More usually
Isis is shown wearing a disc set between cow horns or two feathers and
often represented seated, holding the infant Horus.