Tag Archive: hawks


Goddess Nephthys

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’ themes are death, ghosts, rebirth and devotion. Her symbols are sunset and the hawk (Her sacred animal).  Just as Isis embodies life’s energies in Egypt, Her sister Nephthys is the force of death and reincarnation. Traditionally, Nephthys dwells in tombs, building and welcoming spirits into the afterlife. Her name means ‘death which is not eternal’, referencing the Egyptian belief in the soul’s rebirth to a new existence.

Following on the heels of Hallows and All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day honors the faithful departed. In early times children would go ‘souling’, collecting small cakes believed to rescue souls from purgatory.  In keeping with this idea, go out at sunset to honor Nephthys with a small cake or cracker. Leave this in a natural location and ask the Goddess to bring peace to any restless souls in Her care.

Oddly enough, Romans announced engagements today (likely as a way of stressing life’s continuance). So if you’ve been thinking of deepening a relationship, or making a commitment to a beloved project, this is one date that might suit the occasion.  Again, go outside at sunset, and as the sun slips behind the horizon pray to the Goddess. Tell Her your goal or speak your pledges in Her name. Ask Her to rejuvenate your determination so that tomorrow you might be born anew to your task or relationship.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

This another duplicate entry in Patricia Telesco’s book.  Click here to read September 13’s original entry on the Goddess Nephthys.

 

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nephthys“.

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Nephthys

Appropriate in light of remembering 9/11 and the recent tragedies…

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’s themes are death, spirits and rebirth. Her symbols are fire, baskets and Myrrh.  This Egyptian funerary Goddess had a hawk for a sacred animal. Together they guide and watch the souls of our loved ones in the afterlife. In Egyptian tradition, Nephthys lives in the east, where She can receive the rising sun, a symbol of the hopefulness she can instill and of resurrection.

Today was Nephthys’s festival day in ancient Egypt. As with other festivals for the dead, it was a time not only to propitiate the Goddess with offerings of aromatic incense like myrrh but also to satisfy any wandering spirits. If someone you care about passed away during the last year, burn some incense for this Goddess and leave a small basket filled with a token for her on your altar. This acts as a prayer to Nephthys to keep a watchful eye on that souls and grant them peace.

If you find your sense of hopefulness waning under everyday pressures, light a candle honoring Nephthys today, and every day, until you sense a difference in attitude. Try to choose a candle whose color represents hope and change to you (sprout green is one good choice). Inscribe the candle with a symbol of what you most need to turn things around so that this Goddess can shine dawn’s revitalizing light into your heart and begin relieving some of that heaviness.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

J. Hill from Ancient Egypt Online writes: “Nephthys was an ancient Goddess, who was referenced in texts dating back to the Old Kingdom. She was a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis as the daughter of Geb and Nut and the sister of OsirisIsis and Horus and the sister and wife of Set. When the Ennead and Ogdoad merged, Nephthys was given a place on Ra’s boat so that She could accompany him on his journey through the underworld. Nephthys is the Greek pronunciation of Her name. To the Ancient Egyptians She was Nebthwt (Nebhhwt or Nebthet) meaning ‘the Mistress of the House’. The word ‘hwt’ (‘house’) may refer to the sky (as in Hwt-hor, the ‘House of Horus’ – the name of Hathor), but it also refers to either the royal family or Egypt as a whole. The latter makes a great deal of sense as She was described as the head of the household of the gods and was thought to extend Her protection to the head female of every household. She was sometimes associated with Ptah-Tanen in representing Lower Egypt, while Khnum and Isis represented Upper Egypt.

It seems that She was originally conceived of as the female counterpart of Set. He represented the desert, while She represented the air. Set was infertile (like the desert that he represented) and was frequently described as either bisexual or gay and so Nephthys was often considered to be barren. As a Goddess of the air, She could take the form of a bird, and because She was barren She was associated with the vulture – a bird which the Egyptians believed did not bear children. The Egyptians thought that all vultures were female (because there is very little difference in the appearance of a male vulture), and that they were spontaneously created from the air. While the care shown by a mother vulture for her child was highly respected, the Egyptians also recognised that vultures fed on carrion and associated them with death and decay. As a result, Nephthys became a Goddess of death and mourning.

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

Professional mourners were known as the ‘Hawks of Nephthys’, in recognition of Her role as a Goddess of mourning. It was also believed that She protected Hapi in his role as of the Four sons of Horus (who guarded the organs stored in the four canopic jars). Hapi protected the lungs, and as a Goddess of the air Nephthys was his guardian. She was also one of the four Goddesses who guarded the shrine buried with the Pharaoh. She appears with Isis, Selkit (Serqet) and Neith on the gilded shrine of Tutankhamun, but was often depicted with IsisBast and Hathor in this role. Yet, She was also said to be the source of both rain and the Nile river (associating Her with Anuket) and was thought to protect women in childbirth (with the assistance of Her sister, Isis). Thus She was closely associated with both death and life.

“Nephthys” by ~deadheart82

Although She was technically infertile, later myths claimed that She was the mother of Anubis by either Osiris or Set (depending on the myth). This came about because Anubis’ position as the god of the dead was usurped by Osiris when the theologies of the Ennead and the Ogdoad merged. According to one myth Nephthys disguised Herself as Isis to get the attention of Her neglectful husband Set, but instead seduced Osiris (who apparently did not realise that it was Nephthys). An alternative myth made it clear that Nephthys intended to seduce Osiris from the beginning and drugged his wine to make Her task easier, while a less common myth held that She did trick Her husband into a brief daliance in order to concieve Anubis. It is suggested that this tale also explained the flowering of a plant in a normally barren area because Set apparently discovered the adultery when he found a flower left by his brother Osiris.

Isis and Nephthys were very close despite Nephthys’ alleged infidelity with Osiris (the husband of Isis) and Her marriage to Set (the murderer of Osiris). Nephthys protected the body of Osiris and supported Isis as She tried to resurrect him. The Goddesses are so similar in appearance that only Their headdresses can distinguish them and they always appear together in funerary scenes. Together Isis and Nephthys could be said to represent day and night, life and death, growth and decay. In Heliopolis, Isis and Nephthys were represented by two virginal priestesses who shaved off all of their body hair and were ritually pure.

Nephthys was usually depicted as a woman with the hieroglyphs of Her name (a basket on top of the glyph representing the plan of an estate) on Her head. She could also be depicted as a mourning woman, and Her hair was compared to the strips of cloth used in mummification. She also occasionally appears as a hawk, a kite or a winged Goddess in Her role as a protector of the dead. Her major centers of worships were Heliopolis (Iunu, in the 13th Nome of Lower Egypt), Senu, Hebet, (Behbit), Per-mert, Re-nefert, Het-sekhem, Het-Khas, Ta-kehset, and Diospolites.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nephthys“.

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Isis

“Isis” by Lisa Iris

“Isis’ themes are magic, harvest, dreams, divination, perspective, faithfulness, love, spirituality and destiny.  Her symbols are bloodstones, amethyst, silver, myrrh, hawks and the moon.  One of the most complete Goddess figures in history, Isis breathes on us with spring winds to revitalize and fulfil our spirits in every way. Egyptians venerated Isis as the Queen of Sorcery, Life of the Nile, Mother Moon, and Protectress. Isis taught humankind the basic skills necessary to build civilizations, and She came to represent the powerful attributes of faithfulness, love, inner beauty, oracular insight, and spiritual awareness (to name just a few). She could also change Her followers’ destinies.

Today was the Festival of Isis, a spring harvest festival in Egypt, honoring the giver of all life, Isis. Put a bloodstone or amethyst in your pocket today to inspire any or all of Isis’s characteristics in your soul and life. If you have any silver or white clothing, wearing them will also foster Isis-centered energy, because these colors are associated with the moon.

One traditional activity today is fortune-telling, an art under Isis’ dominion. To encourage visionary dreams from Her, put some rose petals under your pillow before going to bed, and burn some myrrh or jasmine incense. Keep a dream diary handy, and write your impressions immediately upon waking so you won’t lose the insight.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Isis” by Doreen Virtue

“Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of rebirth remains one of the most familiar images of empowered and utter femininity. The Goddess Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the Goddess of the Overarching Sky. Isis was born on the first day between the first years of creation, and was adored by Her human followers.

Unlike the other Egyptian Goddesses, the Goddess Isis spent time among Her people, teaching women how to grind corn and make bread, spin flax and weave cloth, and how to tame men enough to live with them (an art form on which many of us would welcome a refresher course!).  She was considered the patron saint of women, mothers and children.

Isis taught Her people the skills of reading and agriculture and was worshipped as the Goddess of medicine and wisdom.

It is told that She managed to trick Re into revealing his secret name to Her and in doing so, Isis obtained many magical powers, making Her a Goddess of magic.

More than any other of the ancient Egyptian Goddesses, Isis embodied the characteristics of all the lesser Goddesses that preceded Her. Isis became the model on which future generations of female deities in other cultures were to be based.

As the personification of the ‘complete female’, Isis was called ‘The One Who Is All’, Isis Panthea (‘Isis the All Goddess’), and the ‘Lady of Ten Thousand Names’.

The Goddess Isis, a moon Goddess, gave birth to Horus, the god of the sun. Together, Isis and Horus created and sustained all life and were the saviors of their people.” [1]

Isis and Osiris

“Isis and Osiris” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“The history of Isis and Osiris, the Egyptian god and Goddess, is known throughout Egypt and has become one of the most popular and fabled folklore tale in Egyptian mythology. Isis was believed to be the daughter of Nut and Geb. The Egyptian Goddess Isis later married Osiris, another ancient Egyptian deity and who was also Her brother. Osiris seems to have been in a continual feud with another Egyptian god, Seth. In many versions of the tale, Osiris and Seth are brothers and Isis and Seth’s wife Nephtys are their sisters as well as their wives. Eventually Seth killed Osiris by drowning him in the Nile. Isis the Goddess of magic used Her powers to bring Her husband back to life only to have him once again struck by Seth.

Apparently determined to accomplish the deed in a way that even Isis would be unable to undo, Seth mutilated Osiris into multiple parts and hid them throughout the desert. Isis would not be bested by Seth and in a somewhat romantic tale, proceeded to spend many years searching for Her husband’s various body parts. The Egyptian Goddess Isis finally managed to find almost all of them and once again used Her magical powers to bring about his rebirth. At this point, it appears She became pregnant, although the manner by which She became impregnated seems to be a subject of much debate. Some traditions state that Isis hid Osiris until he was able to impregnate Her and that Osiris eventually succumbed to death from the wounds inflicted by Seth. Other tales instead contend that Isis actually impregnated Herself with her husband’s body.

“Isis” by Hrana Janto

Whatever the method, The Egyptian Goddess Isis gave birth to a son, Horus, who would achieve significant fame throughout Egypt. In later years, it was recounted that Horus sought to avenge of his father’s murder and proceeded to kill Seth.” [2]

The myths of Isis and Osiris caution us about the need for occasional renewal and reconnection in our relationships. Isis also reminds us to acknowledge and accept the depths of our emotions.

Click here to read more of Her stories at Goddess Gift.

“Unlike many Egyptian gods and Goddesses, Isis remained in the same form from the beginning of Her history to current dates. The Egyptian Goddess Isis achieved much fame throughout history and many temples were dedicated to Her honor and for the purpose of worshipping Her.

The Egyptian Goddess Isis played an important role in the development of modern religions, although Her influence has been largely forgotten.

The festivities surrounding the flooding of the Nile each year, originally named ‘The Night of the Tear-Drop’ in remembrance of the extent of the Isis’ lamentation of the death of Osiris, Her tears so plentiful they caused the Nile to overflow, is now celebrated annually by Egyptian Muslims and  is called ‘The Night of the Drop’.

She was worshipped throughout the Greco-Roman world. During the fourth century when Christianity was making its foothold in the Roman Empire, Her worshippers founded the first Madonna cults in order to keep Her influence alive.

Some early Christians even called themselves Pastophori, meaning the shepherds or servants of Isis. . . which may be where the word ‘pastors’ originated. The influence of Isis is still seen in the Christian icons of the faithful wife and loving mother.

Indeed, the ancient images of Isis nursing the infant Horus inspired the style of portraits of mother and child for centuries, including those of the ‘Madonna and Child’ found in religious art.

The power of the Goddess Isis in the ‘public arena’ was also profound. Her role as a guide to the Underworld, was often portrayed with winged arms outstretched in a protective position. The image of the wings of Isis was incorporated into the Egyptian throne on which the pharaohs would sit, the wings of Isis protecting them.

The ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis has many gifts to share with modern women. Isis embodies the strengths of the feminine, the capacity to feel deeply about relationships, the act of creation, and the source of sustenance and protection.

At times Isis could be a clever trickster empowered by her feminine wiles rather than Her logic or brute strength. However, it is also the Goddess Isis who shows us how we can use our personal gifts to create the life we desire rather than simply opposing that which we do not like.” [3]

ASSOCIATIONS:

General:  Full moon, images of madonna and child, rivers (especially the Nile) and the ocean, hair braids, cattails, papyrus, knots and buckles, stars, the ankh symbol, throne, the rattle, diadem headdress (circular disk with horns), cow, wings, milk, perfume bottles, and March 5 (feast day).

Animals: Sparrowhawk, or kite, crocodile, scorpion, crab, snake (especially cobra), and geese.

Plants: Cedar, corn, tamarisk, flax, wheat, barley, grapes, lotus, balsam, all flowers, trees and all green plants.

Perfumes/Scents: Tamarisk, lotus, balsam, amber oil, cedarwood, sandalwood, cinnamon, and sweet orange.

Gems and Metals: Silver, gold, ebony, ivory, obsidian, lapis lazuli, and scarabs.

Colors: Silver, gold, black, red, cobalt blue, and green. [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Egypt Online, “A Biography of the Egyptian Goddess Isis“.

Goddess Gift, “Goddess Symbols: Isis“.

Goddess Gift, “Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Giver of Life“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Isis, Healing Queen“.

Being, Venus. Order of the White Moon, “Isis: The Great Mother“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Isis“.

Love of the Goddess, “Isis, Mother Goddess of the Universe“.

Ravenwing, Morgana. Order of the White Moon, “Isis: The Universal Goddess“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Isis: see it clearly, sister“.

Seawright, Carol.  Kunoichi’s Web Page, “Isis“.

Wikipedia, “Isis“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Isis“.

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