Pronunciation of Isis: EE-sihs
Origin: Egypt
Role: Goddess
Symbols: Thet, Sept
Husband: Osiris
Siblings: Osiris, Set, Nepthys
Other Names: Aust, Esu, Hesat

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Isis is a goddess, the sister-wife of Osiris, and the mother of Horus. She is known as a symbol of motherhood, fertility, and magic.


In mythology, Isis, an ancient Egyptian goddess, held a central role in the pantheon. Revered for motherhood, magic, and fertility, she was both sister and wife to Osiris. The renowned myth recounts Osiris’s murder by jealous Seth, prompting Isis, aided by Nephthys and Anubis, to temporarily resurrect Osiris for conceiving Horus. Isis, a nurturing and protective mother, raised Horus, who later sought vengeance for his father’s death.

Isis, associated with healing and magic, transcended Egyptian borders, influencing various cultures in the ancient Mediterranean world.


Geb, the god of the earth, and Nut, the goddess of the sky, were Isis’ parents. She married her brother, Osiris, who was the god of the dead and resurrection. Set and Nepthys were her siblings. Isis had several children, including Horus, Anubis, Mesthi, Hapi, and Tuamutef. Horus was the only child with Osiris, while the others were fathered by Osiris, born to Nepthys, and adopted by Isis.


In ancient Egyptian art, Isis dons a throne-shaped hieroglyph on her head, symbolizing her name. This “hieroglyphic sign of a throne” represents her as a queen and mother goddess. Additionally, the throne hieroglyph often incorporates cow horns, further emphasizing her fertility, a concept intricately linked to motherhood in ancient Egypt.

Furthermore, Isis is frequently portrayed with a vulture headdress, sun disk, and cow horns, highlighting her celestial and maternal attributes. Some depictions also feature wings, underscoring her protective role. Her regal appearance and association with the throne collectively emphasize her status as a queen and the wife of Osiris.

Additionally, Isis is shown with an ankh (symbol of life) and a scepter, symbolizing her authority. As a goddess of magic, she appears with magical symbols, and her ability to resurrect Osiris is a prominent theme in Egyptian art.

It’s important to note that the artistic representations of Isis may vary slightly across different periods of ancient Egyptian history and in different regions of the ancient Egyptian world.


The goddess, possessed several extraordinary abilities and characteristics that distinguished her as a powerful and revered deity. Here are some aspects of Isis’s “powers”:

Isis personified magic and wisdom, being considered a goddess in those domains. She held profound knowledge of magical spells and incantations, which she employed for diverse purposes such as healing, protection, and resurrection.

Nurturing in nature, Isis was often invoked for her healing and protective abilities. Devotees sought her assistance for ailments and relied on her protective nature, particularly as a guardian of children and families.

One of Isis’s significant feats was her role in resurrecting her husband Osiris after his death, showcasing her connection to life, death, and rebirth. Emphasizing her maternal qualities, Isis played a crucial role as the mother of Horus, who later became a central deity in Egyptian mythology.

In certain myths, Isis was believed to have control over the annual flooding of the Nile River, a vital event for the fertility and prosperity of ancient Egypt. This association with the Nile reinforced her role in agricultural abundance.


Isis embodies love, devotion, wisdom, and resourcefulness. In the myth of Isis and Osiris, her unwavering devotion is evident. After Osiris’s death at the hands of Seth, she tirelessly searches for and gathers his remains, bringing him back to life temporarily. This showcases her commitment to family.

As a mother, Isis is depicted as loving and protective. Raising Horus in secret, she shields him from Seth’s wrath, emphasizing her caring nature. Her association with wisdom is evident in acquiring Ra’s secret name, granting her powerful magical abilities. Her wisdom is further demonstrated in resurrecting Osiris and guiding Horus.

Devotees sought Isis as a healer and comforter, believed to possess the ability to heal and provide solace. Her compassionate nature made her a popular deity, invoked in times of trouble. Unlike localized deities, Isis gained universal appeal across various regions and social classes in ancient Egypt. This popularity stemmed from the relatable themes of love, loss, and resurrection inherent in her myth.

Flooding of the Nile

A myth about Isis claims that her tears are responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile River. Osiris, Isis’ husband, became the target of Set’s jealousy, who devised a plan to kill him. Upon Osiris’ return, Set organized a welcoming party and strategically placed a decorated chest in the banquet area.

Set devised a game centered around the chest, challenging guests to fit inside perfectly. After several unsuccessful attempts, Set persuaded Osiris to try. When Osiris entered, Set closed the lid, transforming the chest into a coffin. Subsequently, the coffin was thrown into the Nile.

As it drifted downstream, the coffin reached Bilbos, where it landed near a water spring and became entangled in the roots of a large tree. The tree grew around the coffin, catching the attention of the King of Bilbos, who demanded that it be placed in his palace.

Meanwhile, Isis, in search of her missing husband, discovered the coffin’s location. Disguised as an old woman, she won the sympathy of the Queen’s maids and gained entry to the palace. While expressing gratitude by braiding their hair, Isis learned about the Queen’s pregnancy.

As the Queen went into labor, the maids suggested the old woman’s assistance. Isis agreed, requesting to be alone with the baby at night. Suspicious of nighttime noises, the Queen investigated and found her baby on red-hot coals with a swallow flying overhead. She rescued the baby.

The disguised Isis revealed her true form, explaining that she was burning away the baby’s mortality. She disclosed her mission to the King and Queen and was allowed to take the coffin with Osiris’ body back to Egypt, hiding it in the swamp.


Isis, often holding the Ankh, symbolizes life and immortality. The Knot also known as the “Tyet” or “Isis Knot,” represents protection and magical power with additional loops at the top. Depicted as the “Throne Goddess,” Isis symbolizes her role as the queen and mother of the pharaoh by having a throne on her head. In religious iconography, Goddess frequently appears holding a Sistrum, a musical instrument representing music, dance, and ritual. Her outstretched wings symbolize her protective and nurturing nature. The crescent moon, associated with her cycles of life, death, and rebirth as a lunar goddess, completes the ensemble of symbols that collectively represent aspects of life, magic, protection, and the nurturing qualities attributed to the goddess Isis in ancient Egyptian mythology.


Isis is associated with motherhood, magic, fertility, and protection. She is often depicted with an ankh (symbol of life) and wings, emphasizing her nurturing and life-affirming qualities.

Isis played a crucial role in the myth of Osiris, aiding in his resurrection after his murder by Set. She is also known for her maternal and protective roles, especially towards her son Horus.

Yes, some symbols associated with Isis include the ankh (symbol of life), the Knot of Isis (Tyet) representing protection, and the sistrum, a musical instrument associated with her worship.

Isis is the daughter of Geb (god of the earth) and Nut (goddess of the sky). She is married to Osiris and has siblings, including Set and Nepthys. Her children include Horus, Anubis, Mesthi, Hapi, and Tuamutef.

Worship of Isis involved rituals, festivals, and temples. Devotees sought her blessings for protection, fertility, and assistance in various aspects of life.

While the ancient Egyptian religion has largely faded, some modern spiritual practices may incorporate elements of Isis worship. However, it's not a mainstream or organized religion.

The Throne symbolizes Isis's role as a queen and mother, representing her authority and nurturing nature. It is a symbol of her connection to the pharaoh and divine kingship.

According to the myth, Isis searched for and reassembled the body of Osiris after he was dismembered by Set. With her magical abilities, she restored him to life, emphasizing her role as a powerful and compassionate goddess.

One of the most well-known myths is the story of Osiris's death and resurrection, where Isis played a central role. Additionally, her journey to find Osiris's body and protect her son Horus are key elements of Egyptian mythology.