Everybody knows Isis—including you! She's kind of hard to track down, though. Why? Well, because she's the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names and a shape-shifter, to boot. She created a powerful snake whose bite only she could cure, to convince her father Ra to tell her his secret name. And now she has all Ra's knowledge and power, too. She'll do whatever it takes to keep her son, Horus, safe and protect her husband, Osiris, from dying forever. Queen Isis is clever, beautiful, and powerful. Gods and mortals alike want this goddess to be their friend. After all, she's a very dangerous enemy. People loved Isis so much that they kept worshipping her even after Egypt closed her temples, and her worship spread from Egypt all the way to London.
I have 10,000 names. Pick one. In Egypt they call me Aset or Auset. In Rome I am Isis, and sometimes people confuse me with my gal pals Tyche, Fortuna, or Demeter.
Other names: Queen Isis, Mother of God, Great of Magic, She Who Must Be Obeyed
Rome. Even though my ancient temples are museums now, they liked the pictures of me with baby Horus on my lap so much, they borrowed them to paint the Blessed Virgin Mary. How cool is that?
Queen, single parent, weaver, magician, mourner, goddess of life
Ra's Secret Name (which contains all the knowledge in the universe)
I like anything, as long as I'm in charge.
Nut (Mom), Geb (Dad), Ra (Stepdad)
Osiris, Horus the Elder, Seth (my big brothers); my little sister Nephthys
Horus the Younger, Anubis (I adopted Anubis. He's not my son, but Nephthys and Osiris had him… maybe. It's complicated.)
Thoth, the Seven Scorpions, Hathor
Seth, that lady in the swamp who didn't help me heal my son
Married to Osiris (he's my brother, too. So? We fell in love before we were born), widowed
The Secrets of Isis (It's all about me! How could I not like it?)
"I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl. I want to rule the world."
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Egypt's not really a game, but if you're going to play, you should win!)
Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Fantasia (especially the Sorcerer's Apprentice part!)
Spending time with my son
Isis isn't super easy to pin down. After all, she's a shapeshifter. But if you want to find her, you're going to need to get classy. She likes to hang out in palaces and other fancy places like that. Can you blame her? She is a queen.
Age: Adult (but remember: as a shapeshifter, she can be young or old)
Complexion: Some say dark, some say fair
Hair Color: Dark, if not covered by a cloth or crown
Facial Hair: Nope
Jewelry and accessories: The jewels of a queen
Clothing: The clothes of a queen, or a mourning woman, or a weaver
Armor: None. Isis needs no protection.
Type of Weapon: Isis only uses her magic.
The Seven Scorpions
Horus the Younger
Jan 1, 1970
This is when we see the first mention of Isis as the wife of Osiris, written inside a pyramid. She didn't waste any time getting started. She's already the boss of kings, the Lady of the Throne, and Queen of Heaven.
Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019
Isis just takes over. She goes from being the goddess of kings and thrones to the goddess of everybody—mothers, wives, family, you name it. Isis also starts taking over other goddesses' jobs and temples, and even convinces non-Egyptians to start building temples in her honor.
Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019
During this Ptolemaic Queen's reign, Isis goes to Rome and even further. Cleo was so impressed with the goddess that she referred to herself as Thea Neatara, "the new born goddess" and Nea Isis ("the New Isis"), and dressed like Isis in public. At her suicide in 30 BCE, Cleopatra used one of the goddess' cobras to deliver the fatal bite.
Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 0099
This essay, from Plutarch's fifth book of the Moralia, is one of the only full versions of Egyptian myth about Isis. Even though he was a Greek-speaking Roman citizen, Plutarch was so impressed with the stories he heard about Isis that he made sure they were written down for everyone.
Dec 20, 0099 - Dec 20, 0199
In this story, Lucius really wants to be a magician. Unfortunately, he's not very good at it. While trying to copy a witch, who transformed herself into a bird with a magic spell, he messes up the spell and ends up turning himself into a donkey. After many adventures, Lucius-the-donkey falls asleep on a beach and dreams of Isis, who tells him to go eat one of the roses being carried to the sea as part of the Navigium Isidis festival. Lucius eats a rose, turns back into a man, and joins Isis' priesthood.
Dec 20, 2019
The author of The Prince, a book about power and how to use it, started translating Apuleius' The Golden Ass (see above, 2nd Century CE) into Italian, and made it into a poem. Sadly, he died before he could finish.
Dec 20, 1791
A boy and a girl who can't be together…who do they pray to? Isis, the goddess who lost her husband, of course. Mozart's fantasy opera includes prayers to Isis.
Dec 20, 1975 - Dec 20, 1977
A cool Saturday morning TV show, where Isis became a superhero in tall white boots, through a magic necklace that a high school science teacher found in the Egyptian desert.
Dec 20, 2019
In this comic book by Bluewater Productions, a 21st Century Los Angeles detective asks for help in his work, and ends up with a teenage super-hero version of Isis to help.